What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Temnoscheila
Location: Wichita Falls, Texas
May 30, 2014 2:46 pm
We have identified the green beetles on one of our red oak trees as temnoscheila.
We used a tree drench on it a few days ago to systemically rid the tree of the beetles, which are gnawing holes in the bark and making it fall off. But drench can take up to three months to work. Is there anything else you would recommend to help us? We don’t want to lose the tree.
We live in Wichita Falls, Texas, and are in a bad drought. We have been watering the trees with pond water, since we are not allowed to use city water on the yard.
We don’t see the beetles on any other trees (hope they don’t spread). Thanks.
I hope I sent the right picture of the beetles and not my dogs.
Signature: Ercie Hill

Metallic Green Borer Beetle

Metallic Green Bark Gnawing Beetle

Dear Ercie,
We are very excited to be able to post your image of this beautiful species that helps to return trees to humus.  We took the liberty of cropping and correcting your image of a Bark Gnawing Beetle.
  The BugGuide page on the genus  is a beautifully designed page.

Temnoscheila species

Temnoscheila species

Daniel, thank you.  Sorry my image was not better.  My camera doesn’t take very good close-up photos.
Any idea why the beetles are on the oak tree and how to talk them into going somewhere else?
Thanks again,
Ercie Hill

We have very good news for you Ercie, sort of.  We just received a complimentary copy of Arthur V. Evans’ new book, Beetles of Eastern North America, and here is what he has to say about Temnoscheila virescens:  “Adults and larvae found in pines infested with bark beetles and are important predators of Dendroctonus.  Adults prey on adult bark beetles, while their larvae consume Dendroctonus eggs and larvae.”  According to BugGuideDendroctonus:  “Breed on boles of conifers; sometimes kill healthy trees.”  So, you have photographed the predator, not the problem.  We would urge you not to take any action against this magnificent Bark Gnawing Beetle, even though its family name is deceptive.  It is feeding on the beetle that is the problem.  The material we are citing lists pines as the trees affected by the Bark Beetle, but that is not to say that the Bark Gnawing Temnoscheila might also prey on Bark Beetles that affect other trees, namely, your oak.

Daniel, thank you.  We’ve seen these beetles around here as long as I can remember, just never saw them on a tree.  I appreciate your responses – thanks so much.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Withita Falls, Texas
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