What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: it’s not safe to go outside anymore
Location: Langford, British Columbia, Canada
July 14, 2014 7:10 pm
Hi Bugman,
This was taken today (June 14/2014) in Langford, BC (suburb of Victoria, BC).
It’s HUGE. A kind stranger took the photos for me because I didn’t want to get close. This was a minimum of 3 inches in length – perhaps between 3 inches and 4 inches long. There are dead ten-lined June beetles all over the garage floor (just outside of photo), and they look like ants compared to this monster.
Can you tell me what this is? Does it fly? And when do these start dying off?
I have a hard time enough coping with June Beetles….. discovering this next to my car has has challenged my very being.
Signature: nicole

Possibly Female California Prionid

Possibly Female California Prionid

Dear Nicole,
While we fully understand your irrational fears, we feel compelled to try to educate about this remarkable female California Prionus,
Prionus californicus.  BugGuide has a noticeable lack of images of female California Prioni, but this single image illustrating the pronounced sexual dimorphism is worth the dearth.  The female is the larger individual on the right in the bugGuide image.  You don’t really need to fear California Prionids, but we would caution you to refrain from handling them with anything less than the utmost care as they have powerful mandibles needed to chew their way quickly out of the trunks and roots they have been feeding within as grubs.  They fly for a maximum six week period in the summer during which time the male’s only interest is finding a female and the female’s only interest is to deposit eggs on a suitable larval food source.  They will not attack you.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Langford, British Columbia, Canada

4 Responses to Root Borer terrorizes Canadienne

  1. Nicole says:

    Thank you for the ID, Bugman. Now I have a name in which to attach to the fear that will continue to consume me. Your warning regarding the sharp mandibles was much appreciated. There will be no handling of this creature for me. While it was most disheartening to discover that they do indeed fly, I find myself more bothered by the fact that there is likely a mate nearby.

    Thank you for your efforts in the identification. I take refuge in the fact that tomorrow brings a new day….. and one less day for this particular California Prionus.

    ….until tomorrow….. when I will face the reality of venturing back out into enemy territory.


    • bugman says:

      Face your fears Nicole. Embrace your sighting as it seems females are encountered far less frequently than males.

  2. Nicole says:

    Well. I guess I’m lucky. Because I encountered yet another one of these Jurassic Park demons just last night.



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