Bug of the Month: October 2007 – Locust Borer

Mystery Caterpillar and Bee-Like Insect
Hey Bugman,
I live in Rhode Island, and I’ve run across two odd insects recently. I was wondering if you could help me identify them.
The first was a bright-green and brownish-purple caterpillar with four little spikes on it. It was about an inch long. The second is a vaguely wasp-like insect (I’m not sure if this is Batesian or Mullerian mimicry, and I didn’t stick around to find out), and it was about an inch long as well. Thanks for your help,
Guillaume Riesen

Hi Guillaume,
Your caterpillar is a Saddleback Caterpillar and we have posted numerous images of this species. Your vaguely beelike insect is a Locust Borer, a Cerambycid Borer Beetle that is very common in the autumn and is often associated with goldenrod. Many beetles in this family are considered wasp mimics. We believe we are going to make it the Bug of the Month for October and will probably be using your photo on our homepage the entire month.

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