BIG BUG in Texas
Sun, Jun 28, 2009 at 8:26 AM
I opened my front door to my upstairs apt. to leave, and walking in very relaxed like, was this neat looking creature. Naturally, I freaked and shut the door, then remembered how slow and feeble it seemed. As if it pretty much just wanted to get in out of the heat! it’s 102’F outside right now. So i put the broom and jar down on the floor and he mozzeied right on into it….like, dum de dum de dum…. but he doesn’t seem to like the jar too much, and i would like to find out whether or not this lil guy can hurt me? what does he need to survive? Cause he obviously, doesn’t like the heat! Btw- it’s a real light brown, almost cream/khaki in color underneath all the spots top of back and belly.
Biggest Bug I’ve seen in Texas
Fort Worth, TX

Cottonwood Borer

Cottonwood Borer

Your beetle is a Cottonwood Borer, Plectrodera scalator , one of the most beautiful North American beetles. According to BugGuide: “Adults are reported to browse on shoots of host trees, especially leaf-stems (petioles), and bark.” The host tree is the cottonwood. The beetle will not harm you, though they do have strong jaws and it might pinch slightly if it tries to bite you. We would urge you to release your captive.

i put him in box with coal rocks (those red ones that are very porous) and a variety of leaves/grass and tiny dish of water next to the rocks so that he could drink… i don’t know for sure, but it appeared to of eaten one of the leaves.
He took a nap that day and when i heard him crawling around again i took him back outside and he crawled right onto the little bush like tree and posed for the most beautiful picture! Unfortunally my memory is the only picture i will ever have of that as i did not have my camera/phone on me.

2 Responses to Cottonwood Borer

  1. kanthony says:

    I found one of these beetles this morning at a gas station in Austin, right next to the gas pump. I was fascinated by its markings and, luckily had an empty jar in my car because I had just taken in some water to be tested at the pool supply store. So I scooped up the critter and came home and found this website, and there was my bug … the cottonwood borer. We don’t have cottonwoods in my neighborhood, only live oaks, so I hope he’s OK. I put him out on my woodpile.

    • Paul says:

      They must like gas stations because I had the same experience. At first I thought it was fake, just way too peaceful for a bug that intimidating. Lets just say I’m not much of an entomologist. I put my finger close to it and it moved and there was an intense eye to eye. I left. Now I’m here trying to figure out what kind of bug it was. Denton, TX

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