Banded Longhorn Beetle Good Or Bad?

All longhorn beetles are not bad, despite the infamy they have gained due to their Asian cousin. In this article, we look at the gentle banded longhorn beetle, which is a beneficial insect.

The longhorn (Cerambycidae) family of beetles, which comprises more than 35,000 different beetle species, is infamous for the damage they can cause to trees. 

It can indeed be quite concerning if a bunch of banded longhorn beetles shows up on your property. But not all species of these beetles are bad.

So, if you are wondering whether these beetles are good or bad, you have ended up on the right page.

Banded Longhorn Beetle Good Or Bad
Six Banded Longhorn

What Are They?

Banded Longhorn Beetles belong to the longhorn family of beetles. Based on the number of bands, they are divided into three types:

  • Two-banded longhorn beetle (Rhagium bifasciatum)
  • Four-banded longhorn beetle (Strangalia quadrifasciata)
  • Six-banded longhorn beetle (Dryobius sexnotatus)

You might also want to note that these beetles belong to a subfamily of longhorns known as flower longhorns. 

This is because adult banded longhorned beetles usually visit flowers for nectar. 

Among the various species of banded longhorns, the wasp beetle deserves special mention due to its ability to mimic wasps using its jerky flight pattern.

What Do They Look Like?

The banded long-horned beetle is easy to identify due to its unique appearance.

While the head and the pronotum are black, the rest of the body is covered in stripes of yellow and reddish brown or rusty red. 

Its wings are also banded and carry a fuzzy or velvet-like appearance.  The beetle has a pair of long and segmented black antennae and six yellow legs with black feet. 

Banded long-horned beetles grow up to 0.3 inches to 0.6 inches long. Around the shoulders, they are wider, while the tip of their abdomen looks tapered.

What Do They Eat?

You might come across adult banded longhorns in your garden, as they mostly feed on pollens and nectar. 

A wide variety of flowers attract these beetles, but the flowers of parsley, celery, and carrot plants are their favorites.

In the larval stage, these beetles feed on plant tissue by boring tunnels into the wood. 

Adult females tend to lay their eggs in dead or decaying wood that the larvae can easily bore through. Banded Longhorn larvae prefer goldenrod, sumac, birch, and poplar trees.

Are They Dangerous?

Banded longhorn beetles are not dangerous to humans, as they cannot bite or sting. They are capable of nipping, but the nips aren’t strong enough to draw blood or penetrate the skin. 

Their larvae do cause damage to trees by boring tunnels into the wood. However, it’s all a part of the ecological balance. 

The larvae help in the elimination of deadwood and improve the fertility of the soil. You can identify infested trees by looking for larval frass around the trees. 

Larval frass is a mix of sawdust and fecal matter that the larvae expel from the tunnels.

What Are They Attracted To?

Regardless of whether you primarily grow flowers, herbs, or vegetables in your garden, there’s a chance it might attract banded longhorns. 

Besides gardens, these beetles are also attracted to flowers growing in fields or other open places. 

Like most insects, they’re attracted to light sources, and you may find them around lights at night. As for the larvae, you’ll mostly find them in decaying wood.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are longhorn beetles beneficial?

Despite their infamy due to the Asian longhorn beetle, a pest that can cause severe damage to forests and gardens, other longhorn beetles are beneficial in a couple of ways. 
For instance, flower longhorns can act as pollinators while hunting for nectar and pollen. As mentioned earlier, longhorns also help remove deadwood and improve soil fertility.

Are longhorn beetles destructive?

Asian Longhorn beetles are destructive against a variety of tree species. 
The longhorn larva causes damage by boring deep tunnels and galleries in the wood, disrupting the flow of nutrients and turning the tree weak. 
The adults of certain species can damage trees, too, by chewing and leaving behind wounds and pits. These wounds get infected, and the trees begin to blacken from the sap.

Are longhorn beetles invasive?

Yes, the longhorn beetles are an invasive species of pests in North America, but they have grown quite abundant in the continent now. 
The Asian longhorned beetle, one of the most common species of longhorns, is native only to Korea and China, but you can now find them in the US too.

Can longhorn beetles destroy trees?

The damage caused by longhorn beetles and their larvae is bad enough to kill trees. 
This is why, although these pests aren’t dangerous to humans, they can have a severe impact on our economy. A healthy tree attacked by longhorn larvae dies within 10 to 15 years.

Wrap Up

If you have a tree stump lying around in your garden, it may potentially attract a longhorn beetle infestation. 

Although they won’t usually damage any furniture or a piece of wood in your home, they can easily destroy your beloved maple tree. 

Thank you for reading, and I hope you found this helpful. 

Keep an eye out for these pests and remove trees infested by longhorn larvae to protect your garden.

Reader Emails

Banded longhorn beetles are rather innocuous, but their unique appearance often makes them a subject of curiosity among bug lovers.

Read below letters and photographs sent in by many of our readers, requesting us to identify these beautiful beetles.

Letter 1 – Six Banded Longhorn

 

WTB??
I live in northern KY. This bug was found on Northern KY University’s campus in May or June. He is probably about an inch long, flies and his antennae are long and hairy. What is he???
Shannon

Hi Shannon,
But for the extreme hairiness of the antennae, your beetle is a near perfect match to the Six Banded Longhorn, Dryobius sexnotatus, pictured on BugGuide. BugGuide also indicates it is “Uncommon (2)and listed as rare and endangered on several websites.”

Update: (08/28/2008)
Daniel:
The longhorned beetle is identified correctly. Some images show how hairy the antennae are, and some images don’t. It is all in the lighting and resolution. I lived in Cincinnati (across the Ohio River from No. Kentucky U.) for eleven years, and never saw a Dryobius in all the time I spent in forested areas there.
Eric

Letter 2 – Six Banded Longhorn Beetle

 

what is this bug?
I found this bug this morning right next to my front steps. Can you tell me what it is. We are located in Middle Tennessee.It is appro. 1 inch long body with the antennas being appro. 2 inches long. picture attached …THanks and awaiting your answer.
Rodney

Hi Rodney,
How exciting for us. This is a new species for our site: A Six Banded Longhorn Beetle, Dryobius sexnotatus. According to Eric Eaton on BugGuide, it is considered rare throughout its range.

Letter 3 – Mating Banded Longhorns

 

Mating Beetles / Northern Michigan
Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 9:15 AM
These beetles were all over a small meadow next to our cottage in Maple City Michigan during the first week of August, 2008. Caught these two mating. Ooh la la… I have no idea what kind they are and haven’t been able to ID them on my own.
Your site is wonderful! Thanks!
Jeff
Maple City Michigan, USA

Mating Banded Longhorns
Mating Banded Longhorns

Hi Jeff,
Your mating beetles are Banded Longhorns, Typocerus velutinus, in the group known as Flower Longhorns.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on decaying hardwoods such as oak, hickory. Adults usually found in daytime, but do come to lights, so probably somewhat nocturnal. “

Letter 4 – Mating Banded Longhorns, or closely related species

 

fiber optic penis?
July 26, 2009
I knew that subject line would get your attention. I recently took some pics worthy of your BUG LOVE page, but I didn’t know what kind of beetles they were. Then today I checked your site and there it is- a banded longhorn. If you care to zoom in a bit you’ll understand the subject line.
Vince
Northern Indiana

Mating Longhorns
Mating Longhorns

Dear Vince,
These mating beetles may be the Banded Longhorn, Typocerus velutinus, or they may be one of the 15 other members of the genus identified on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Prominent genus of flower longhorns. Many, if not most, have a zebra-like or spotted pattern. This is probably mimicry of hymenoptera. Several are distinctively marked on elytra: T. velutina, zebra, lunulatus. However there is some variability, some T. velutina, in particular, are weakly marked. Other species must be identified under magnification or from very high-quality photographs. These include T. acuticauda and T. deceptus.
”  Thanks for sending your graphic photo of a mating pair.

Letter 5 – Six Banded Longhorn

 

Cincinnati Bug
Location: Cincinnati OH
July 8, 2011 8:16 am
I found this little guy and thought he was very interesting. Please identify the species..thanks!
Signature: Gretchen

Six Banded Longhorn

Hi Gretchen,
We are thrilled to post your photo of a Six Banded Longhorn,
Dryobius sexnotatus, a species that BugGuide lists as:  “Species of Concern – USFWS Uncommon (3) and listed as rare and threatened on several state websites.  Species is ‘widely scattered and populations are sparse’ (1)  Rare (4)   Dury (1902) noted that Dryobius sexnotatus was once abundant but was even then becoming rare. Perry et al. (1974) noted a sharp decline in the collection of the species since 1942.”

Letter 6 – Six Banded Longhorn Beetles are rare and threatened!!!

 

Subject: Borer, hickory?
Location: Nashville, Tn
June 29, 2014 9:26 am
These bright yellow bugs are unlike any I have seen. They have a lot more yellow, and the pattern is different than all the other pics on your site. Can you identify this for me? They are all over a Hackberry tree. I did not see any Hackberry borers on your site. Is there such a thing?
Signature: Tanya

Six Banded Longhorn Beetles
Six Banded Longhorn Beetles

Dear Tanya,
Your images are very blurry, and though the details are absent, it is possible to make out the bold markings and bright colors on these Six Banded Longhorn Beetles,
Dryobius sexnotatus, which appear to be mating.  According to BugGuide:  “Primary host: sugar maple (Acer saccharum) (4) (larvae bore in living and dead trees); also basswood, beech, linden and rarely elm (1) Can maintain itself on other hosts for a short period, but survival seems to depend on the availability of large, very old (overmature) sugar maple trees (Perry et al. 1974).”  BugGuide also notes:  “Uncommon/rare (3)(4); widely scattered, populations are sparse (1); listed as rare and threatened on several state websites.  Dury (1902) noted that D. sexnotatus was once abundant but was even then becoming rare.  Perry et al. (1974) noted a sharp decline in the collection since 1942.”

Awesome! Thank you very much for getting back with me! Are they still rare? They were mating quite aggressively a few weeks ago .. lol.
I also inquired about a spined micrathena spider, also a blurry pic. I have attached a better one. Quite beautiful color!

To the best of our knowledge, the Six Banded Longhorn Beetle is still rare.  We did see the Micrathena image, and we did not post it because of the poor quality of the image.  The significance of the Six Banded Longhorn Beetle sighting prompted us to post despite the poor image quality.  We like to choose high quality images for posting whenever possible unless there is some other significant reason, like a great letter, that will encourage our staff to post blurrier images.

Letter 7 – Two Banded Longhorn from Scotland: Rhagium mordax

 

Subject: Insect identification
Location: Scotland
May 24, 2015 12:38 pm
hi there was wondering if you could identify this for me please
Signature: ???

Two Banded Longhorn
Two Banded Longhorn

Dear ???,
Despite being on the internet for over 13 years with over 20,000 unique postings on our site, we posted our first ever image of a Two Banded Longhorn,
Rhagium bifasciatum, from Ireland just yesterday.  Your submission is now the second representative of the species on our site, leading us to believe that this year may have a greater than usual annual population of the species.

Letter 8 – Endangered Six Banded Longhorn

 

Subject:  What’s this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Virginia
Date: 06/19/2019
Time: 08:46 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Do you know what bug this is? Found in Virginia on a dead tree stump.
How you want your letter signed:  Renny

Six Banded Longhorn

Dear Renny,
This is a very exciting sighting for us.  Thanks to images posted to BugGuide, we are confident your gorgeous beetle is a Six Banded Longhorn,
Dryobius sexnotatus.  According to BugGuide, the habitat is:  “Old growth hardwood forests; mostly in large, very old deteriorating sugar maple trees that have been wounded/scarred; adults hide under bark. In PA, all of the sugar maples observed were very old and at least 3 ft across. Most sites are located in stream valleys.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Uncommon/rare; widely scattered, populations are sparse; listed as rare or threatened by several states, e.g. considered a SGCN [Species of Greatest Conservation Need] by AR, LA, and VA Dury (1902) noted that D. sexnotatus was once abundant but was even then becoming rare.  Perry et al. (1974) noted a sharp decline in the collection since 1942.”

Letter 9 – Endangered Six Banded Longhorn

 

Subject:  Longhorn Beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern Virginia
Date: 07/23/2019
Time: 08:26 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this crawling in a stack of lumber in the woods here in Northern Virginia. I thought it might be a type of longhorn beetle, but couldn’t find any that matched the coloring pattern. Any thoughts? Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Danny

Six Banded Longhorn

Dear Danny,
This is a Six Banded Longhorn,
Dryobius sexnotatus, and according to BugGuide:  “Uncommon/rare; widely scattered, populations are sparse ; listed as rare or threatened by several states, e.g. considered a SGCN by AR, LA, and VA. “

Letter 10 – Endangered Six Banded Longhorn in Oklahoma

 

Subject:  Is this a six-banded longhorn beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  Harrison, OH
Date: 07/11/2021
Time: 11:26 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This was in our house and I think I found it to be a six-banded longhorn beetle. Are they endangered?
How you want your letter signed:  Joy McCombs

Six Banded Longhorn

Dear Joy,
This is indeed a Six Banded Longhorn,
Dryobius sexnotatus, and BugGuide has reports from Oklahoma.  According to BugGuide:  “Uncommon/rare; widely scattered, populations are sparse; listed as rare or threatened by several states, e.g. considered a SGCN by AR, LA, and VA
Dury (1902) noted that D. sexnotatus was once abundant but was even then becoming rare.
Perry et al. (1974) noted a sharp decline in the collection since 1942.

Letter 11 – Six Banded Longhorn

 

Subject:  longhorn beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  southern indiana
Date: 07/11/2021
Time: 12:27 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this out my back door on my porch.  Think that it is a longhorn beetle but apparently there are 26000 varieties.
Wondered what variety it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Pat

Six Banded Longhorn

Dear Pat,
We can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to browse through 26,000 species of Cerambycids to learn the identity of your endangered Six Banded Longhorn,
Dryobius sexnotatus.  Daniel posted an image yesterday of an individual in Oklahoma that was also submitted on July 11.

Letter 1 – Six Banded Longhorn

 

WTB??
I live in northern KY. This bug was found on Northern KY University’s campus in May or June. He is probably about an inch long, flies and his antennae are long and hairy. What is he???
Shannon

Hi Shannon,
But for the extreme hairiness of the antennae, your beetle is a near perfect match to the Six Banded Longhorn, Dryobius sexnotatus, pictured on BugGuide. BugGuide also indicates it is “Uncommon (2)and listed as rare and endangered on several websites.”

Update: (08/28/2008)
Daniel:
The longhorned beetle is identified correctly. Some images show how hairy the antennae are, and some images don’t. It is all in the lighting and resolution. I lived in Cincinnati (across the Ohio River from No. Kentucky U.) for eleven years, and never saw a Dryobius in all the time I spent in forested areas there.
Eric

Letter 2 – Six Banded Longhorn Beetle

 

what is this bug?
I found this bug this morning right next to my front steps. Can you tell me what it is. We are located in Middle Tennessee.It is appro. 1 inch long body with the antennas being appro. 2 inches long. picture attached …THanks and awaiting your answer.
Rodney

Hi Rodney,
How exciting for us. This is a new species for our site: A Six Banded Longhorn Beetle, Dryobius sexnotatus. According to Eric Eaton on BugGuide, it is considered rare throughout its range.

Letter 3 – Mating Banded Longhorns

 

Mating Beetles / Northern Michigan
Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 9:15 AM
These beetles were all over a small meadow next to our cottage in Maple City Michigan during the first week of August, 2008. Caught these two mating. Ooh la la… I have no idea what kind they are and haven’t been able to ID them on my own.
Your site is wonderful! Thanks!
Jeff
Maple City Michigan, USA

Mating Banded Longhorns
Mating Banded Longhorns

Hi Jeff,
Your mating beetles are Banded Longhorns, Typocerus velutinus, in the group known as Flower Longhorns.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on decaying hardwoods such as oak, hickory. Adults usually found in daytime, but do come to lights, so probably somewhat nocturnal. “

Letter 4 – Mating Banded Longhorns, or closely related species

 

fiber optic penis?
July 26, 2009
I knew that subject line would get your attention. I recently took some pics worthy of your BUG LOVE page, but I didn’t know what kind of beetles they were. Then today I checked your site and there it is- a banded longhorn. If you care to zoom in a bit you’ll understand the subject line.
Vince
Northern Indiana

Mating Longhorns
Mating Longhorns

Dear Vince,
These mating beetles may be the Banded Longhorn, Typocerus velutinus, or they may be one of the 15 other members of the genus identified on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Prominent genus of flower longhorns. Many, if not most, have a zebra-like or spotted pattern. This is probably mimicry of hymenoptera. Several are distinctively marked on elytra: T. velutina, zebra, lunulatus. However there is some variability, some T. velutina, in particular, are weakly marked. Other species must be identified under magnification or from very high-quality photographs. These include T. acuticauda and T. deceptus.
”  Thanks for sending your graphic photo of a mating pair.

Letter 5 – Six Banded Longhorn

 

Cincinnati Bug
Location: Cincinnati OH
July 8, 2011 8:16 am
I found this little guy and thought he was very interesting. Please identify the species..thanks!
Signature: Gretchen

Six Banded Longhorn

Hi Gretchen,
We are thrilled to post your photo of a Six Banded Longhorn,
Dryobius sexnotatus, a species that BugGuide lists as:  “Species of Concern – USFWS Uncommon (3) and listed as rare and threatened on several state websites.  Species is ‘widely scattered and populations are sparse’ (1)  Rare (4)   Dury (1902) noted that Dryobius sexnotatus was once abundant but was even then becoming rare. Perry et al. (1974) noted a sharp decline in the collection of the species since 1942.”

Letter 6 – Six Banded Longhorn Beetles are rare and threatened!!!

 

Subject: Borer, hickory?
Location: Nashville, Tn
June 29, 2014 9:26 am
These bright yellow bugs are unlike any I have seen. They have a lot more yellow, and the pattern is different than all the other pics on your site. Can you identify this for me? They are all over a Hackberry tree. I did not see any Hackberry borers on your site. Is there such a thing?
Signature: Tanya

Six Banded Longhorn Beetles
Six Banded Longhorn Beetles

Dear Tanya,
Your images are very blurry, and though the details are absent, it is possible to make out the bold markings and bright colors on these Six Banded Longhorn Beetles,
Dryobius sexnotatus, which appear to be mating.  According to BugGuide:  “Primary host: sugar maple (Acer saccharum) (4) (larvae bore in living and dead trees); also basswood, beech, linden and rarely elm (1) Can maintain itself on other hosts for a short period, but survival seems to depend on the availability of large, very old (overmature) sugar maple trees (Perry et al. 1974).”  BugGuide also notes:  “Uncommon/rare (3)(4); widely scattered, populations are sparse (1); listed as rare and threatened on several state websites.  Dury (1902) noted that D. sexnotatus was once abundant but was even then becoming rare.  Perry et al. (1974) noted a sharp decline in the collection since 1942.”

Awesome! Thank you very much for getting back with me! Are they still rare? They were mating quite aggressively a few weeks ago .. lol.
I also inquired about a spined micrathena spider, also a blurry pic. I have attached a better one. Quite beautiful color!

To the best of our knowledge, the Six Banded Longhorn Beetle is still rare.  We did see the Micrathena image, and we did not post it because of the poor quality of the image.  The significance of the Six Banded Longhorn Beetle sighting prompted us to post despite the poor image quality.  We like to choose high quality images for posting whenever possible unless there is some other significant reason, like a great letter, that will encourage our staff to post blurrier images.

Letter 7 – Two Banded Longhorn from Scotland: Rhagium mordax

 

Subject: Insect identification
Location: Scotland
May 24, 2015 12:38 pm
hi there was wondering if you could identify this for me please
Signature: ???

Two Banded Longhorn
Two Banded Longhorn

Dear ???,
Despite being on the internet for over 13 years with over 20,000 unique postings on our site, we posted our first ever image of a Two Banded Longhorn,
Rhagium bifasciatum, from Ireland just yesterday.  Your submission is now the second representative of the species on our site, leading us to believe that this year may have a greater than usual annual population of the species.

Letter 8 – Endangered Six Banded Longhorn

 

Subject:  What’s this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Virginia
Date: 06/19/2019
Time: 08:46 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Do you know what bug this is? Found in Virginia on a dead tree stump.
How you want your letter signed:  Renny

Six Banded Longhorn

Dear Renny,
This is a very exciting sighting for us.  Thanks to images posted to BugGuide, we are confident your gorgeous beetle is a Six Banded Longhorn,
Dryobius sexnotatus.  According to BugGuide, the habitat is:  “Old growth hardwood forests; mostly in large, very old deteriorating sugar maple trees that have been wounded/scarred; adults hide under bark. In PA, all of the sugar maples observed were very old and at least 3 ft across. Most sites are located in stream valleys.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Uncommon/rare; widely scattered, populations are sparse; listed as rare or threatened by several states, e.g. considered a SGCN [Species of Greatest Conservation Need] by AR, LA, and VA Dury (1902) noted that D. sexnotatus was once abundant but was even then becoming rare.  Perry et al. (1974) noted a sharp decline in the collection since 1942.”

Letter 9 – Endangered Six Banded Longhorn

 

Subject:  Longhorn Beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern Virginia
Date: 07/23/2019
Time: 08:26 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this crawling in a stack of lumber in the woods here in Northern Virginia. I thought it might be a type of longhorn beetle, but couldn’t find any that matched the coloring pattern. Any thoughts? Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Danny

Six Banded Longhorn

Dear Danny,
This is a Six Banded Longhorn,
Dryobius sexnotatus, and according to BugGuide:  “Uncommon/rare; widely scattered, populations are sparse ; listed as rare or threatened by several states, e.g. considered a SGCN by AR, LA, and VA. “

Letter 10 – Endangered Six Banded Longhorn in Oklahoma

 

Subject:  Is this a six-banded longhorn beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  Harrison, OH
Date: 07/11/2021
Time: 11:26 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This was in our house and I think I found it to be a six-banded longhorn beetle. Are they endangered?
How you want your letter signed:  Joy McCombs

Six Banded Longhorn

Dear Joy,
This is indeed a Six Banded Longhorn,
Dryobius sexnotatus, and BugGuide has reports from Oklahoma.  According to BugGuide:  “Uncommon/rare; widely scattered, populations are sparse; listed as rare or threatened by several states, e.g. considered a SGCN by AR, LA, and VA
Dury (1902) noted that D. sexnotatus was once abundant but was even then becoming rare.
Perry et al. (1974) noted a sharp decline in the collection since 1942.

Letter 11 – Six Banded Longhorn

 

Subject:  longhorn beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  southern indiana
Date: 07/11/2021
Time: 12:27 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this out my back door on my porch.  Think that it is a longhorn beetle but apparently there are 26000 varieties.
Wondered what variety it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Pat

Six Banded Longhorn

Dear Pat,
We can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to browse through 26,000 species of Cerambycids to learn the identity of your endangered Six Banded Longhorn,
Dryobius sexnotatus.  Daniel posted an image yesterday of an individual in Oklahoma that was also submitted on July 11.

Reader Emails

100473

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Two Longicorns from Thailand: Aristobia approximator and Cremnosterna carissima

 

lamiinae beetle antennae knobs. March 30, 2010 im wondering what these knobs are for and if they have anything to do with sexing certain lamiinae??? these two beetles appear to be (Aristobia approximator) but one has no knobs. gary heiden n.e. thailand
Aristobia approximator
Dear gary, Your beetle with the tufted antennae is definitely Aristobia approximator.  The antennae are sensory organs, and in many insects that release pheromones to attract a mate, the male has highly developed antennae so that he can locate a female for mating purposes.  Aristobia approximator can be found pictured on stamps from Laos, North Vietnam and Central Africa.  Your other beetle appears to be a different species.  WE found Aristobia approximator pictured on the Beetles from Thailand website, but we could not locate your other individual there.  We could not locate the mystery beetle on Inhdonesien Cerambycidae Seite 1 or the other three pages on that site.  Perhaps when Karl returns from Costa Rica, he will have more luck than us at an identification.

Letter 2 – Unknown Longicorn from Indonesia

 

Longhorn Beetle May 17, 2010 I am sure its a longhorn beetle I just dont know its scientific or common name. I would really appreciate the genus and species as well and the common one. Thank you so much. Alyssa Indonesia
Unknown Longicorn
Hi Alyssa, We haven’t the time to research your genus, species, common name request at the moment because we are rushing out to a local issues meeting to speak out in opposition to a request to trap coyotes in nearby Elyria Canyon Park.  Perhaps we will have time when we return, or perhaps one or our readers will be able to supply an answer.  Upon doing a bit of research, it appears superficially like Batocera wallacei based on a photo on the Photogallery of cerambycid beetles of the genus Batocera website, but the front legs on your beetle are much longer.

Letter 3 – Unknown Longhorn in genus Monochamus

 

bug with really long antennae Location:  Downtown Seattle WA USA July 20, 2010 12:44 pm Dear Bugman, This bug was a stowaway in my co-worker’s car, July 14, in downtown Seattle. It doesn’t look like a city bug to me, but then again, what do I know? Thank you for your assistance in this important matter. LDY
Longhorn Borer Beetle
Hi LDY, Your beetle is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae, but we have been unable to verify a species identity in the fifteen minutes we spent on BugGuide.  Perhaps one of our readers can assist with this identification. Ed. NOte: Karl wrote in a comment with a theory that this might be Monochamus obtusus, and sararall also believes it is a Monochamus species.

Letter 4 – Possibly Spined Oak Borer

 

What is this bug? Location:  New Jersey shore bordering pine barrens September 5, 2010 9:23 pm I found this beetle (?) fascinating. The curving, segmented antennae are longer than its body, and the area above its eyes looks like it’s got painted-on eyebrows. I can’t believe I have combed the internet and still can’t identify it! I found it on my patio at the NJ shore, in an area that borders the pine barrens. I hope you will find my ”bug” fascinating, too, and will tell me what it is. Thank you! Signature:  Mary Palmer
Spined Oak Borer, we think
Hi Mary, We believe this is a Spined Oak Borer, Elaphidion mucrunatum, based on images posted to BugGuide.  We wish you background was less camouflage and that it showed the details of the femora because according to Bugguide:  “Note very long femoral spines. Hi, Daniel. You guys are amazing. I can’t believe you answered my question at all, let alone so quickly. I see exactly what you mean about the lack of detail of the femora in my photo. I’d never seen an insect before with those intriguing “eyebrows” and forgot that to identify any kind of wildlife you need more than color or one interesting characteristic. In future if I find an insect I want to identify with an online “bug” guide, I will attempt to get it into a glass container of some kind so I can view it from every angle. In any case, armed with information from you, I have searched around online some more. I am thinking that the beetle I saw was a little bigger than a spined oak borer (next time I am photographing any mystery bug, I will photograph it next to a ruler!) and that it might actually be something else, like Parelaphidion aspersum. In any case, this was a good learning experience for me, a reminder that neither I nor anyone else can identify an insect without enough information about it, visual as well as length, etc. I really can’t thank you enough! Mary Palmer P.S. It would not surprise me if “my” insect likes to eat oak trees. I don’t know where you are located, so you may or may not know much about the pine barrens of New Jersey, but the two main trees of the pinelands are pines (no surprise) and oak, with a few other varieties. Hi again Mary, Parelaphidion aspersum does look like a very good match and the two species are in the same tribe.

Letter 5 – Unknown Longhorn from Honduras

 

Beautiful Longhorn Location:  Balfate (North Coast), Honduras September 21, 2010 9:36 pm Hi Daniel, A co-worker sent me this picture today. I guess I’m getting the reputation of the bug guys here. Anyway, I believe it might be in the Prioninae sub-family. As always, I appreciate you help and for kindling my interest in insects. P.S. I’m really looking forward to your new book. Congrats Signature:  brad
Unknown Longhorn from Honduras
HI Brad, We agree that this may be a Prionid.  We are going to post your letter and photo before doing any research as we just got home from work and after feeding the chickens, we need to eat.  Hopefully, we will be able to identify it shortly, or perhaps one of our readers will provide an identification.  The metallic olive color of this beetle is truly lovely. Update:  Possible Identification September 22, 2010 5:11 AM After a good night’s sleep, we decided to tackle this identification by searching the Worldwide Cerambycoidea Photo Gallery for Honduran species, and we believe this may be Strongylaspis corticaria, which is in the subfamily Prioninae.  We also located an image on BioLib, but we have not been successful in locating an image of a living specimen.

Letter 6 – Handmaiden Moth and Longicorn Beetle from Guinea

 

insects Location: Guinea, West Africa November 18, 2010 4:13 pm Photo 1. This is the funniest bug I’ve ever seen. It is NOT PHOTOSHOPPED. It couldn’t fly, but maybe because it was injured. We saw it during dry season.
Handmaiden Moth
Photos 2 and 3. This beetle was also seen during the dry season. Its head is like that of a locust and it had big pinchers. It was flightless. Signature: Gabriel
Longicorn Beetle
Hi Gabriel, We believe the moth is one of the Arctiid Moths.  We will try to send the image to an expert in Arctiids named Julian Donahue in the hope that he can provide a species identification.  The Beetle is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae.  They are commonly called Longicorns.
Longicorn Beetle
More identifications courtesy of Karl Hi Daniel and Gabriel: I believe the longicorn is probably Phryneta aurocincta (Cerambycidae: Lamiinae: Phrynetini). It is widely distributed through west and central Africa.  The moth looks like it could be Amata (=Syntomis) alicia, an Arctiid in the subfamily Ctenuchiinae.  It apparently occurs in north, east and south Africa, but I wasn’t able to confirm that west Africa is also in its range.  It seems the Ctenuchiinae are known as handmaidens in Africa, and Amata alicia has the delightful common name Maid Alice (perhaps also Heady Maiden).  Another possibility could be A. tomasina, which definitely occurs in West Africa and looks quite similar to the posted photo in some illustrations, but overall doesn’t appear to be as close a match. Anyway, I think that is probably the correct genus. Hopefully Julian Donahue can nail it down. Regards.  Karl Thanks Karl. Julian Donahue confirms Karl’s identification November 21, 2010 Daniel, Appears to be in the genus Amata (placed in Syntomis by Hampson in 1898), close to alicia Butler, 1876–reported from Abyssinia, Somalia, and South Africa. I don’t have the resources at hand to do any better than this (need to see the underside coloration). A search on Google Images of this name produces photos of similar moths (but beware of misidentifications!), which don’t show as much black at the base of the abdomen. Julian P. Donahue

Letter 7 – Possibly a Cedar Tree Borer

 

Is this a Cerambycid in the San Bernardino Mtns? Location: San Bernardino Mountains near Lake Arrowhead approx.5800’ elevation February 22, 2011 12:08 am Hello, several of my neighbors have found this insect in their homes this winter. Since many residents are worried about another bark beetle outbreak, they would like to know if this beetle will damage their trees. Signature: Gina Richmond
Cedar Tree Borer
Dear Gina, You are correct.  This is a Cerambycid or Longicorn beetle.  We do not recognize the species and browsing through BugGuide did not prove fruitful.  This photo taken from a screen shot is quite amusing to us, but we have no idea of scale.  How large is this Longicorn?  Hopefully, we will be able to provide you with a species identification.  Longicorns do have larvae that are wood borers, but very few species do considerable damage to trees. Identification courtesy of Karl Hi Daniel and Gina: Your longicorn looks like a Cedar Tree Borer (Semanotus ligneus ligneous). This beetle sparked a very length discussion when it was posted on WTB? by Kathie Jones on February 5, 2007. Based on that exchange, you may want to check your new cedar furniture if you have any. Regards. Karl Thanks Karl, This is most curious.  Since the insect is being reported from several different homes, we wonder if there has been a range expansion, or if the Cedar Tree Borer may be a newly introduced species in California.  It would also probably require an expert viewing the actual specimen to determine if this really is a Cedar Tree Borer or some look-alike. Comment from Brian, an entomologist Daniel Make me wonder what is going on with this one??????? I agree it is most likely Semanotusbut to get it to species level by the photo would be hard to do. Better photo would be great. Semanotus ligneus does occur in California but I have never seen one so red in color and the placement of the spots on the elytra does not seem just right. This genus does include some exotics and it may be worthwhile for them to submit it to the state or an extension service.  Better safe than sorry. Far as I know the USA only has two species for this genus. I would not guess cedar furniture but firewood since it is found in more than one home. Most likely wood from the surrounding area. Juniperus maybe? but that not a common species used for firewood. Well thanks for peaking my interest. Hope its a native and not an exotic As always keep up the great work! Brian Thanks so much for the information! I will forward this to the neighbors who have encountered the Cedar Tree Borer in their homes. I will check back to this site often as I really enjoy learning more about insects- what a great website, All the best, Gina Richmond

Letter 8 – Roundheaded Borer

 

Big Fat Juicy Fella! They’re counting on me! Location: Phoenix, AZ March 29, 2011 10:39 am My aunt and some co-workers found this big guy hanging out on a Bougainvillea bush in Phoenix, AZ yesterday 3/28/2011 in the afternoon after trimming abush. She called me and asked ” Whats this bug?” I’ll send you a pic. 🙂 So, here I am, trying to fulfill my neice-ly duties. I love this website so much, and visit it every day… Almost. It REALLY TRULY, helped me completely and utterly squash my fear of bugs! I am completely enthused, and interested in them all, especially spoders, go figure. Anyways, thanks for this great site, and for helping scared peeps like me grow a passion for the little creatures of our world! Signature: Sherri
Roundheaded Borer
Hi Sherri, This is a Roundheaded Borer, the larva of a beetle in the family Cerambycidae or Bycids for slang.  The adults are known as Longicorns, Capricorns, and Longhorned Beetles.  See BugGuide for some comparable photos.  We wonder if there is a Bycid Larva that feeds on bougainvillea.

Letter 9 – Unknown Longicorn from Serbia identified as Morimus funereus

 

Big bug
Longicorn: Morimus funereus
Big bug Location Serbia May 3, 2011 7:35 am Hello, please help me with this bug. Length is 4-5cm. Location – Avala forest near Belgrade (Serbia), 2 days ago. Bug is very slow (or scared:) I already uploaded more pics on my imageshack account, ty. Igor
Longicorn: Morimus funereus
Dear Igor, We haven’t the time at the moment to research this magnificent Longicorn, but we can tell you it is one of the Long Horned Borer Beetles in the family Cerambycidae.  Perhaps one of our readers can scour the internet for a species name today.
Longicorn: Morimus funereus

Letter 10 – Round Headed Apple Borer

 

curious bug Location: middle Tennessee June 18, 2011 6:46 am Me and my son found this on the porch around ten o’clock pm tonight June the ninth we live in Tennessee we have been having some high temperature days lately don’t know if that will help or not. Could you help us identify this insect please we were fascinated by it. Thanks so much. Signature: Father & Son
Round Headed Apple Borer
Dear Father & Son, We confirmed our suspicions that this was a Round Headed Apple Borer, Saperda candida, by researching on BugGuideBugGuide states:  “Larvae feed on the wood of apples (Malus) and related trees in the rose family, such as pear (Pyrus), hawthorn (Crataegus), mountain ash (Sorbus) and Saskatoon (Amelanchier). Also: Aronia, Cotoneaster, Cydonia, Prunus. Adults feed on leaves.”  Also:  “These insects seek out trees which are already weakened due to some other stress. A heavy infestation can kill a tree.”

Letter 11 – Purplescent Longhorn

 

Identify Bug Location: North eastern North Carolina June 20, 2011 4:42 pm The kids and I were hoping to find out what this bug is. It was found on the front porch during the day in the summer. Signature: Cindy
Purplescent Longhorn
Hi Cindy, This is one of six species in the genus Purpuricenus, according to BugGuide, which are called collectively the Purplescent Longhorn.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Banded Longhorn from North Dakota

 

Banded LonghornSubject:  beetle?? on a thistle flower Geographic location of the bug:  central North Dakota Date: 07/18/2022 Time: 07:31 PM EDT Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman:  I am just trying to identify this insect so that I can publish the photo in The Jamestown Sun newspaper.  Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! How you want your letter signed:  John S. Sun Photo Dude
Banded Longhorn
Banded Longhorn
Dear John S. Sun Photo Dude, We quickly identified your Banded LonghornTypocerus velutinus, thanks to the image on Beetle Identification where it states:  “This species is often found visiting flowers for nectar and are frequently seen in gardens. They also use dying hardwood trees like birch and sumac for laying eggs.”

Authors

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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.

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  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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12 thoughts on “Banded Longhorn Beetle Good Or Bad?”

  1. Hi Daniel. I also did some searching but could find nothing closer than what you have already suggested, Wallace’s Longhorn (Batocera wallacei). It would be useful to know where this one was found since the range appears to be Australia (Cape York), the island of New Guinea and eastern Indonesia (Moluccas or Maluku Islands). If this one was photographed west of that then it may still be something else, though probably a Batocera of some sort. Wallace’s longhorn is the largest beetle in Australia, ranging from 55 to 85 mm, so that would fit with Alyssa’s photo (that’s a very impressive beetle!). The length of the antennae and forelegs appears variable when you compare the images on the internet. It could just be the way the beetle is positioned, or there could be some regional variability, and there is certainly some sexual dimorphism (males have longer antennae and forelegs). The color patterns are also quite variable. Here are a few more links:

    http://www.cerambycoidea.com/foto.asp?Id=271
    http://godofinsects.com/museum/display.php?sid=658
    http://www.kaefer-der-welt.de/batocera_wallacei.htm
    http://www.stat.wisc.edu/~ifischer/Collections/Insects/Images/batocera.jpg

    Reply
  2. The “unknown longicorn” is Cremnosterna carissima.
    It is found in Souther China (Ynnan Province), Laos, Thailand, Myanmar

    Erwin

    Reply
  3. I found one that looks like this in my nectarine tree in Pflugerville, TX. I’m concerned it may be the reason why some of the other trees aren’t looking so good. What can I do to get rid of them and how do I prevent them from getting into the fruit & nut trees?

    Reply

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