Subject: Large flying beetle Spain
Geographic location of the bug: Granada province, Andalucia, southern Spain
Time: 04:34 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Struggling to identify this large, flying beetle in southern Spain. Predominanlty black but with distinctive mottle-like markings. This one is about an inch but I’ve seen ones maybe 2 inches at their largest. They seem to like our cherry tree saplings if that’s helpful. When you approach they crawl round the other side of the branch – making photo-taking difficult (!) and if that doesn’t work they drop off the tree into the leaf litter. They appear around July/August time. Any ideas?
How you want your letter signed: Tom, Spain
This is a Metallic Borer Beetle in the family Buprestidae, and we have identified it as Capnodis tenebrionis thanks to this image on FlickR. According to Koppert Biological Systems: “Capnodis tenebrionis is one of the most important pests in cultivated stone fruit (f.e. cherries, apricots and almonds) and in some cases seed fruit (apples and pears). … Both adult beetles and larvae damage plants. Adults feed on twigs and young branches mainly causing problems in tree nurseries and young plants. The greatest damage is caused by the larvae. Immediately after hatching they penetrate into the roots of the trees and feed on the cortex. They form long sinuous galleries full of sawdust. Young trees die as a result of this damage. A few larvae can also cause the death of an adult tree in 1 or 2 years.” A suggestion for the organic control of Capnodis tenebrionis is also provided on that site. Good luck saving your cherry trees.
Hi there Daniel,
Thank you very much for the speedy response and identification. Looks like my cherry trees are in for it.
Have you got a paypal account for donations? – Signing up for patreon.com and going through the options is quite time-consuming.
I’d just like to make a quick donation in gratitude for the response.