Subject: Ash borer?
Location: Cook County, IL
July 20, 2014 8:34 am
Hi bugmen and bugwomen,
I took this photo of an insect sunning itself on the side of my house. I searched your files and online.
the closest I could narrow the ID was to the BANDED ASH BORER beetle, but all the photos I found lacked yellow stripes across the thorax. Otherwise, it seems to be a close match.
is this a banded ash borer, or perhaps a relative?
We have been losing trees in the Chicagoland (IL) area at an alarming pace. (mostly elms and ash), and work crews were in my neighborhood felling diseased trees last week.
My guess is this bug is in the process or relocating to new food source.
Many thanks for all you do.
Signature: Jill A
You are quite astute to observe the similarities between your insect and the Banded Ash Borer, Neoclytus caprea, since they are in the same genus. According to BugGuide, there are 25 members in the genus Neoclytus in North America, and many look quite similar, probably requiring the actual examination of the specimen by an expert in the family Cerambycidae to determine the actual identity. Based on the striping pattern on the thorax and head, we believe your individual is Neoclytus scutellaris, based on its similarity to this individual posted to BugGuide. The species has no common name, and according to BugGuide: “Larvae feed in sapwood of (dead?) oaks, hickories, also grape.” It is also worth noting that adults do not feed on wood, and they are most commonly found taking nectar from flowers, sap, fruit and other sweet substances.
Thank you for your response and reassurance! (I’m so glad this bug didn’t go on to feast on my elm tree). We have lots of native berry trees in our yard, and the bug was near our cherry tree when the photo was taken. Your description of it’s feeding habits makes sense.