Emerald ash borer?
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
December 19, 2011 8:54 am
Hi, I found this insect while chopping wood. At first I was concerned that it was an emerald ash borer as it is the right size (14mm long) and shape. It’s head, especially the eyes and mandibles look quite different though.
It was dead when I found it, seemed to be attached to the wood by its rear end.
Signature: ash borer?
Dear ash borer?,
You are correct that this is not an Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus planipennis, which is nicely represented in this excellent online pdf prepared by Gary L. Parsons of the Michigan State University Department of Entomology. On page 55 of that pdf, we located a Bark Gnawing Beetle, Temnoscheila virescens that appears to match your beetle. It is described as: “Length: 8.6-17.8 mm, slightly larger than EAB. Color bright green or blue-green varying to almost dark purplish-blue, often with brassy reflections. Head large, prognathous, and more evident than in Buprestidae, and the connection of the pronotum to mesothorax is narrowed, waist-like. T. virescens occurs in the eastern U.S. with T. chlorodia (Mannerhiem), a very similar species, occurring in the western North America. Both species are predators found under the bark of dead trees where they feed on a variety of woodboring beetles.” That Bark Gnawing Beetle can also be found on BugGuidealong with several other members of the genus.
On the genus page, BugGuideindicates: “can inflict a painful bite if handled carelessly.” Thanks for providing our archives with this convincing Emerald Ash Borer imposter.