Subject: Hurricane Irma changed this bugs range?
Geographic location of the bug: Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Time: 09:36 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: In 25 years of visiting here, I never saw this bug before. Now, after hurricane Irma, I see two or three every night. They are attracted to artificial light, and do not move much during the night. The geckos and anole lizards leave them alone. It is about an inch long. I would be grateful for your identification, and your opinion about the idea that the hurricane could have altered their range, or even introduced them to this island. Thank you.
How you want your letter signed: RD
This is a Longicorn in the family Cerambycidae, and we are pretty certain it is a Flat-Faced Longhorn in the subfamily Lamiinae. We were not able to match your individual (the angle on the image might make identification difficult as a straight dorsal shot would be better) to any of the mounted specimens pictured on Cerambycidae de las Antillas, but we did find a reference to Monochamus titillator, the Southern Pine Sawyer being found in the Bahamas in Tropical Zoology. and BugGuide lists the range as “e. US / Bahamas.” For now, we will leave the species as unidentified. Now, regarding its sudden, recent appearance, we don’t believe large numbers of this wood boring species would have been transported by Hurricane Irma. We suspect many trees were downed during the winds. If the wood was not cleared away, it would have provided a food source and it could possibly have resulted in a population explosion of a normally innocuous species. This unidentified species from the Caribbean on FlickR looks very similar to your individual.
Update: March 30, 2018
We just received a new submission and now we are somewhat confident that this individual as well as the new submission are both Lagocheirus guadeloupensis which is pictured on the Cerambycidae de las Antillas site, and we apologize for missing it originally.