Banded Alder Borer

A beetle like insect with really long antennae.
Sat, Jul 4, 2009 at 7:20 PM
I have no idea what this bug is. It was so intriguing, however, I took about 40 pictures of it! I think it’s a beetle, since it can fly and its wings are hidden under a hard shell. It had black and white stripes.
Please identify this bug!
Grants Pass, Oregon

Banded Alder Borer
Banded Alder Borer

Your insect is a Banded Alder Borer, Rosalia funebris, which is sometimes called a California Laurel Borer, but according to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin “it does not use California laurel (Umbellaria species) as a primary host.”  According to BugGuide, the  “Larvae feed in dead hardwood trees: maple, alder, oak, willow, etc.”  Some borer beetles attack living trees, but this is not the case with the Banded Alder Borer.

Banded Alder Borer
Banded Alder Borer
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bugman

BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. WhatsThatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

44 thoughts on “Banded Alder Borer”

    • They have powerful mandibles, and they might bite if carelessly handled, but they are not poisonous nor are they venomous.

      Reply
  1. I have such a beetle living in my firewood! Can’t wait to see him again. This time I will be ready with my camera

    Reply
  2. Wow, I just found one on the windshield of my car, late afternoon in St Helens OR today. I had never seen anything like it. Quite striking and beautiful.

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  3. Great to know what it is! I just found one in Campbell River, B.C.
    on Vancouver Island. I was surprised to hear British Columbia is part of their territory. I have lived here all my life and have never
    seen one before.

    Reply
  4. first hint its a borer was the large amounts of sap dripping from a 10 in dia alder.
    Another alder same age next to it was also infested with them. Cut both trees
    down and just today discover another alder infested. This one very large,
    perhaps 40-60 years old. Again the sap drippings on the ground under the alder
    was first evidence of this critter being what its named after. However these
    are living alder, not dead. So must be different than what was described in
    above article. We’ve found a dead beetle (as described in article) near both
    trees. This location is North Kitsap County, west of Seattle, Washington.

    Reply
    • The adult beetle specimens are quite valuable to collectors. If I were you, I would rear as many as possible out of the wood and try marketing them on ebay. My bet is they will bring over $100 each.

      Reply
  5. I am in Tulsa, OK and I have one of these roaming outside my house. Smaller than that one put probably the size of two fingers.

    From a quick search, I’ve never heard of these as far this east as Oklahoma.

    Thoughts?

    Reply
  6. My kids just came to me and said, ” Mom what’s this weird looking bug?” From my understanding they’re common in the west and I’m in the South. Lake Charles Louisiana specifically. So I would like to know are they common in my area?

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  7. Just had one on on my windshield in HOUSTON TX. I wouldn’t get out the car. I had my son come out and move it!!! I know it’s not suppose to be here in Houston but it is!!! I have pics also!

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  8. We do Appliance Refurberation/Recycling & found 1 that came out from under a Refrigerator on 7-29-2019 @ 8:15pm in N.E. Salem, Or.

    Reply
  9. Just saw one on the beach at Deception Pass State Park on the northern end of Whidbey Island, WA. Just wandering along the sand… I have great pics but don’t know how to post one here.

    Reply
  10. Have one in vegetable garden.
    We’re in Sonoma County, California. We have a few downed oak limbs and some old wood stacked. Spectacular!

    Reply

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