Subject: Small Black/Yellow Beetle
Geographic location of the bug: San Diego CA 92110
Time: 05:59 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: I’m trying to identify the following bug. It is about 1/8″ – 3/16″ long, black with hints of yellow, long antenna, and hair. I believe that it latched onto me while I was hiking through an area near a pepper tree and pine tree. I’ve searched the Internet without luck, but not the Dark Web 😉 Thanks!
How you want your letter signed: RedSect Bug Lover
Dear RedSect Bug Lover,
We hope you are not considering us the Dark Web. This is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae, and we actually thought we were going to have a much more difficult time identifying it than we had. We quickly identified it as Ipochus fasciatus on BugGuide. According to Oxford Academic Group: “Ipochus fasciatus LeConte apparently has newly, but imperfectly, adapted to feed and oviposit in milk thistle, Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertner, an alien, herbaceous, annual weed in southern California. This polyphagous, native cerambycid previously was known only from woody, perennial host plants.” Knowing it has adapted to feeding on the invasive Milk Thistle is a good thing.
Hi again RedSect,
Several of the plants in the list on your attached screenshot are growing in the WTB? gardens, including Laurel Leaf Sumac, Oak, Willow and endangered California Black Walnut. We will keep an eye out for this diminutive Longhorned Borer Beetle.