What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

White-Spotted Pine Sawyer
Location: Hornepayne, Ontario, Canada
June 25, 2011 2:58 pm
Where I live we just call these beetles pine beetles or pine bugs. They are very common because we basically live in the middle of the boreal forest, which is predominantly coniferous. I was trying to find out what they are actually called on your website. I kept coming across the white-spotted pine sawyer, and I thought it looked exactly like the ones here except for the white spot; I thought ours were completely black. I saw one on my house today and I caught it so I could take pictures, and lo and behold, it DOES have a white spot. So I thought that was pretty neat.
Signature: HQ

White Spotted Pine Sawyer

Dear HQ,
The White Spotted Pine Sawyer,
Monochamus scutellatus, is so named because of the white scutellum which is the triangle at the junction of the wing covers or elytra.  The markings are variable, though the white scutellum is a distinguishing feature.  Other members of the genus Monochamus look quite similar and it is possible that you may have other species in your area as well.  This magnificent individual is a male.  Males have longer antennae.

White Spotted Pine Sawyer

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

6 Responses to White Spotted Pine Sawyer

  1. MandieM says:

    Thought I’d pass on an interesting account. I believe this is what I tried to take a picture of on our back step today. He was pretty maginificent as well, VERY long antennae. He was displaying some very odd behavior – he was sort of patrolling the area below the light. From left to right to left to right he marched in a straight-ish line, about a foot across.

    I attempted to have him jump on to a broom handle, to hopefully bring him down and take some photos, however when I tried he shrieked at me! it sounded quite like SKREE SKREE SKREE SKREE, a sort of buzzing or ringing. Thus, I was clearly making him upset so I left him be and just watched him. Any thoughts on the odd behavior?

    • bugman says:

      Not sure about the walking back and forth, but the sound is stridulation and many insects are capable of making sounds by rubbing parts of their bodies together.

  2. Gray says:

    To those who attempt to catch and handle these, you’re missing one little detail…the bite.
    They are all over the place around fort mcmurray in the mines because they are attracted to the bitumen. We call them tar sand beetles. The bite on these beasts is enough that you will see fully grown men built like tanks scatter like little girls when they land on you. Not only is the bite very painful, but this buff actually takes a chunk out of you to the point where blood is drawn and workers have had to go to med centers. Beware this beast

    • bugman says:

      Though we don’t generally comment on the bite of the White Spotted Pine Sawyer, we do comment on the larger Root Borers. Though these larger Longicorns do not have venom, they do have very powerful mandibles that are used by the adult to chew their way to the surface after the larval and pupal stages so the adult can emerge from the stumps and logs that have provided the food and habitat for the immature stages of the insect. The bitumen comment is also greatly appreciated. According to BugGuide: “The local (to Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada) common names of Oil Sands Beetle and Tar Sands Beetle are due to the attraction of this insect to oil sands. Apparently the attraction is the scent of bitumen, chemically similar to compounds released by the diseased or damaged coniferous trees where they are attracted to lay their eggs.”

  3. Lisa rodrigue says:

    These suckers are huge one bit me and i mean took a chunk then followed me everywhere i went if you dont believe me ask my husband we were freaked out everywhere i turned that bug was after me there magnificent and scary you dont want to piss it off

  4. Brigitte says:

    I had one of these white spotted pine Sawyers on me yesterday on my shoulder I don’t know for how long but as soon as I felt crawling I slapped it away to the ground and then left it be. But in my entire left I have never seen a big like this in Ottawa region so I had to take a picture. I am so happy that this thing didn’t bite me.

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