Brown Prionid

California Root Borer???
Location:  Northeastern United States (Ohio, USA)
August 13, 2010 9:00 pm
Dear Bugman: This bug was on our screenhouse while we were camping in our home state of Ohio in the middle of July. From your photos it resembles the California Root Borer but we are a long way from there. This one also appears longer. This was a big bugger about 2 1/4 inches long. At first glance before the pic was took it looked like it had silver drops for eyes along with the gold bands and we wondered if it had been eating radiation. I’ve seen many bugs in my day but not like this one.
Kathy (Ohio)

Brown Prionid

Hi Kathy,
For some reason, your entire digital file didn’t properly download and there are missing pixels that have cropped into this Brown Prionid’s abdomen.  Your observation that it looked similar to a California Root Borer is quite astute as they are both in the same tribe, Prionini.  Your Brown Prionid is
Orthosoma burnneum, and according to BugGuide it is found in moist forested areas from May to November.  Though there is an extended sighting period noted, most of the submissions of Giant Root Borers in the subfamily Prioninae, humorously referred to on BugGuide as “The Really Big Borers” come in July and August.

Hello Daniel,
Thanks for your quick response and thorough information. I’m sorry about the cropped pic. My son took the pic and IM’ed it to me. If I can get a better one from him, I will email it to you. My brother and I are very interested in bugs. We have said that since our weather here in Ohio has been very hot and humid this summer and likened to the southern US climate that we may start to see insects indigenous to that area migrating up north. We feel this is an interesting concept and worth the watch. If I notice this then I will email you the info.

Kathy C. Seeman

Photo of author


BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. 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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