Subject: Beetle in Pecan Tree
Location: Orlando, Florida
May 27, 2014 6:53 pm
I found this beetle in our old Pecan tree that has been on it’s down side for a few years now. There are at least 4 dozen holes around the bottom of the tree extending upwards 6-7 feet. The beetle does not like sunlight and does not like light from a bulb flashlight but is ok with an LED flashlight.
The antennas are long, 2″ or so and the pincers are black and hard. When I tapped the antenna of one with a piece of paper it went back into the hole and folded back it’s antenna then came forward with it’s pincers. When I touched the pincers with the paper it grabbed it and gave it a tug as if to take it into the hole.
We probably cannot determine an exact species based on your image, however, your detailed description indicates that this is a Longhorned Borer Beetle or Longicorn in the family Cerambycidae. Larvae are wood borers, and often spend several years feeding on wood prior to emerging as adult, winged beetles. Longicorns are not general feeders, and each species has a single or several preferred host plants, and most do not infest healthy trees. Your letter indicates this tree has been in decline, and that is likely the reason that wood boring insects have begun to feed on it. Your description and image indicates that this is an adult beetle and it should soon be exiting through the hole it bored to the surface. Once they leave the larval burrow, they will not return, though we would not discount the possibility that a female might enter a hole to lay her eggs. Based on knowing the host plant is a pecan tree, we will attempt an identification, but if you really want a species identification, we would suggest that you capture a beetle and provide us with a dorsal view. The Texas A&M University Entomology site’s Insect Pests Attacking Pecan in the US page lists 15 Longicorns that feed on the wood of pecan trees.
Thank you for your reply. It was difficult to get a good picture so I’m happy the description helped.
Is there any action that we should take to eliminate the beetle before we have the tree remove?
Thank you in advance,
You can leave the cut wood on site and allow the beetles to develop.