What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Need more information
November 21, 2009
Hey bugman,
I’m from Woodford, Queensland in Australia, and have recently had an increasing (then decreasing) number of what I have found out (from your site) to be Brown Prionids. A good deal of my room is made of timber from the timber yard next door, and I have a full length porch made from said timber around my room. Just wondering if these beetles are dangerous in any way. The pincers on these buggers are freaking my missus out BIG TIME! And the little buggers have flown across the room, brushed my face while lying down, and freaked my missus out a few times. Any further information than that I have already read about them on this site would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance,
Nathan from Brisbane
We don’t see bugs like this in Australia, really…. :-S
Woodford, Queensland

Poinciana Longicorn from our archives

Ed. Note:  January 30, 2012
The included photo came from another posting and is replacing a photo we originally incorrectly identified as the Poinciana Longicorn.

Hi Nathan,
Though our website has gotten you a subfamily identification, we actually believe your species may be local for you.  In our opinion, this may be a Poinciana Longicorn, Agrianome spinicollis, or perhaps some closely related species.  When you say your room is made from the timber from the timber yard next door, you did not indicate when the room was constructed.  Often fresh timber is milled with beetle larvae inside, and if the wood is not treated, the adults may eventually emerge.  Also, if you live in an area where milled wood is produced, you may just be attracting the beetles because many Prionids are attracted to lights.  The mandibles on Prionids are quite strong since they need to chew their way out of the trees they have been boring in during the larval stage.  A bite might even draw blood, but it will heal as there is no poison.  Perhaps someone will write in an confirm that our identification is correct.  We posted a photo of a Poinciana Longicorn several years ago, and there is also a link to a site with some photos.  Your specimen seems a richer color than the images we found online.  Sadly, the Brisbane Insect website has nothing devoted to the subfamily Prioninae.

Hey Daniel,
The house was built roughly 5 years ago. These beetles have only JUST started to show up. The owners of the house before us have stated they have no idea what we’re on about because they didn’t have them. As I said, they seemed to show up almost every night (for about 2 weeks), then all of a sudden they stopped showing up as often. We now see 1 every now and then. Ironically, the beetles stopped showing up as often when we caught one and kept it in a bottle. They must be tough bugs, because this bugger lasted 2 weeks without food, water or air…
And the picture I included was one I found on the internet. I didn’t have a camera on me when I sent that message to you. In actuality, the beetles we have here are a deep brown colour, as opposed to the rich red-like colour in the photo.
Nathan

Hi Again Nathan,
We wish you had indicated that the beetle in your photo was just some random similar looking specimen, because as you should realize, any accurate identification is now impossible.  We will be removing the image from your letter (since we do not have the photographer’s permission to use it) and replacing it with the likeliest suspect, the Poinciana Longicorn.  Often there are years with population explosions of some species, generally triggered when conditions are perfect.  While it is possible that the beetles have been in the larval stage in the wood of your house for the past five years, we do not consider that as strong a possibility as them entering the home from the outside after being attracted to the lights.

Hey Daniel,
First off, my apologies for including a random shot of the beetle from the internet. But as your inquiry form would not allow me to continue without a photo (and the fact I didn’t have a camera on me at the time) I grabbed the next best thing.
I ran an image search of this Poinciana Longihorn, and found a closer image match to this beetle than I originally did, so I now have a better idea of what this bug is, thank you. And I’m not sure if they are actually attracted to the lights, per say, because if you leave the doors open, they DO enter (and the outside lights are always on of a night). Every time I have accidentally left the door open, I see them flying in. So needless to say, I now make every conceivable effort to keep the house closed up of a night.
A larval stage of 5 years??? Freaky… 🙂
Anyways, I want to thank you for helping me trying to understand this small creature and giving me a little more appreciation for them. I no longer kill them. Rather, pick them up with some paper and a glass, and set them back into the backyard.
Cheers,
Nathan

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Australia

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