Subject: Yellow jacket looking bug cover a standing dead tree
May 19, 2013 4:16 pm
Hey good afternoon! We had a tree die over the winter and today 5-19-13 my son was playing basketball and noticed these bugs all over the tree. Can these sting and are they harmful? Thanks from Indiana!
Given the spring sighting, these are Hickory Borers, Megacyllene caryae, a species that spends its larval stage boring in the recently dead wood of hickory and other hardwood trees. A closely related species, the Locust Borer, is active in the autumn months. It is believed the Hickory and Locust Borers mimic stinging Yellow Jackets as a form of protective camouflage. The beetles do not sting, however they have powerful jaws that might draw blood if a person is bitten. They are not considered dangerous.
Great info! Thank you for the identification! Have a great week!