Subject: What is this?
Location: Houston, Texas
May 26, 2014 5:02 am
This was quite a surprise as I was getting ready for work at 3AM.
I found it in my toilet. It must’ve crawled out from the vent above it or something. It’s about 2″ long and has some large mandibles/jaws.
This is a Root Borer in the subfamily Prioninae, and we believe it is a Hardwood Stump Borer, Mallodon dasystomus, based on images posted to BugGuide where it states: “Adults attracted to UV lights.” We suspect this individual was attracted to lights near your door and then got trapped inside where it succumbed to its premature drowning. According to BugGuide: “Larvae bore in live heartwood of trees, incl. oak, elm, willow, pecan, maple, sycamore, etc.” The presence of any of those trees nearby would explain its appearance. Generally, we get reports of Prionids later in the summer, but according to BugGuide’s data page, sightings of Hardwood Stump Borers in Texas have been reported from April through October. We are happy you noticed this Hardwood Stump Borer prior to using the toilet, otherwise, you might have received quite a shock.