The Bumelia Borer is a type of insect that poses a significant threat to various tree species. These pests are known for the damage they cause to trees by boring into their trunks, branches, and roots.
Gaining knowledge about the Bumelia Borer can help in identifying, preventing, and managing infestations in a timely and efficient manner.
As a wood-boring insect, the Bumelia Borer typically targets trees that are weak, drought-stricken, or diseased.
Some common signs of Bumelia Borer damage include holes in the bark, frass, or sawdust-like material around the affected area.
Keeping trees healthy and monitoring for early signs of infestation can save trees from destructive decay and even death caused by these pests.
Bumelia Borer Basics
Origin and Identification
Bumelia Borer, scientifically known as Plinthocoelium suaveolens, is a type of beetle from the family Cerambycidae and order Coleoptera.
These beetles are commonly found infesting trees, particularly bumelia trees.
Size and Range
- Adult Bumelia Borer beetles typically measure around 1 inch in length.
- They have a notable range across the Southern United States, especially in Texas and Florida ¹.
Bumelia Borer’s life cycle consists of the following stages:
- Eggs: Female beetles lay eggs on the bark of host trees.
- Larvae: Once hatched, the larvae bore into the tree, creating tunnels and feeding on the wood.
- Pupae: After several months to a year, the larvae pupate inside the tree.
- Adults: The adult beetles emerge from the pupae and exit the tree, starting the cycle anew.
Comparing Bumelia Borer to other common tree borers:
|Borer Type||Size (Length)||Common Host Trees||Distribution|
|Bumelia Borer||~1 inch||Bumelia trees||Southern United States|
|Emerald Ash Borer||3/8″-1/2″||Ash trees||Central and Eastern U.S., Canada|
|Old House Borer||5/8″-1″||Softwood trees||United States|
|Bronze Birch Borer||1/4″-1/2″||Birch trees||North America|
By understanding the basics of the Bumelia Borer, you’ll be better prepared to identify and manage them in order to protect your trees from damage.
Mating Bumelia Borers
Habitat and Host Trees
Preferred Tree Species
The Bumelia Borer mainly prefers trees like:
- Tupelo (Nyssa species)
- Mulberry (Morus species)
- Oak tree
- Gum Bully (Sideroxylon species)
These tree species provide a suitable habitat for the Bumelia Borer because of their sap, which provides nourishment for the insect.
Distribution in North America
The Bumelia Borer is primarily found in xeric habitats in North America. Some characteristics of xeric habitats include:
- Low rainfall
- Drought conditions
- Limited water availability
In North America, the Bumelia Borer can be found across a wide range of states and provinces, making its presence a concern for tree health in the region.
Behavior and Impact
The Bumelia Borer, belonging to the Cerambycidae family, has distinct feeding habits. For instance:
- Adults: They primarily feed on the leaves of host trees.
- Larvae: They are known as trunk or root borers, tunneling into the wood of host trees.
Damage to Trees
Bumelia Borers can cause significant damage to trees:
- Trunk damage: Larvae bore into the trunk, causing structural instability.
- Root damage: Root borers weaken the tree’s ability to absorb nutrients and water.
As a result, infested trees may appear stressed, with wilting leaves and reduced overall growth. In some cases, severe infestations can lead to tree death.
Comparison Table: Bumelia Borer vs Other Borers
|Bumelia Borer||Orange||Cerambycidae||Trunk & Roots||High|
|Pine Borer||Black-White||Buprestidae||Bark & Outer Trunk||Low|
Distribution in Southern U.S.
Florida and Georgia
The Bumelia Borer, a type of longhorn beetle, can be found in the southern states of the U.S., including Florida and Georgia. This insect primarily feeds on the gum bumelia tree, a native plant in these regions.
- Found in: Florida and Georgia
- Feeds on: Gum Bumelia
Arizona and New Mexico
Similarly, the Bumelia Borer is also present in Arizona and New Mexico. These states provide suitable habitats and host plants, such as gum bumelia, for the insect to thrive.
- Found in: Arizona and New Mexico
- Feeds on: Gum Bumelia
|New Mexico||Yes||Gum Bumelia|
Management and Control of Bumelia Borer Infestations
Appreciating the Beauty and Uniqueness
The Bumelia Borer is a unique and fascinating insect. It is known for its distinctive appearance, making it a beautiful addition to the world of insects.
The beauty of this creature lies in its intricate markings and vibrant colors, which enthrall both casual observers and insect enthusiasts alike.
Bumelia Borers play a crucial role in nature by inhabiting and feeding on the bark of trees, specifically those belonging to the Bumelia genus.
When considering the beauty and uniqueness of the Bumelia Borer, it is essential to remember that its presence also has implications for the trees it inhabits.
Some may view the insect as harmful due to its bark consumption.
However, this interaction is a necessary part of the natural order and offers an opportunity to appreciate the complex relationships in nature.
Comparing the Bumelia Borer to other insects, one can easily see that its distinct markings and color patterns set it apart, further highlighting its fascinating beauty.
The Bumelia Borer, a distinctive beetle from the Cerambycidae family, poses a notable threat to various tree species, particularly in the Southern United States.
With its unique life cycle and feeding habits, it underscores the delicate balance of nature. While its vibrant colors and markings offer aesthetic appeal, the damage it inflicts on trees cannot be overlooked.
Effective management and control strategies, from regular monitoring to chemical interventions, are crucial in mitigating its impact and preserving our precious ecosystems.
Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about bomelia borers. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.
Letter 1 – Texas Bumelia Borer
Cool Bug Pics
The Borer and Bee Killer are both from my yard in Seguin TX
We see you have labled your photo of Plinthocoelium suaveolens with the common name Texas Bumelia Borer. We posted another image of this species yesterday and lamented its lack of a universally accepted common name. We would propose Tupelo Tree Borer after another host tree.
Letter 2 – Texas Bumelia Borer
My 3yr old little boy is obsessed with bugs, I guess as every boy is. These are a couple of pics of a recent bug he found and captured in his bug container.
The bugs actually ate the thin, metal screening and escaped before the day was over. He has also seen one that appeared to be more blue than green. Can you tell us what they are? Thank You!
Suzanne B Hayes
This is a Texas Bumelia Borer, Plinthocoelium suaveolens. There are several subspecies and Plinthocoelium suaveolens plicatum has a green head and thorax. We checked your telephone area code and have figured you live in Texas. The subspecies Plinthocoelium suaveolens plicatum is found in Texas.
Letter 3 – Bumelia Borer
Blue beetle with orange legs
Location: Austin, tx
December 24, 2010 3:51 pm
This beetle was found in Austin TX in the middle of June (mid to upper 90-degree weather) in our elm tree. He was moving very slowly and didn’t look like he was doing well (moving very slowly as if sick). He’s about an inch long.
Most of the images we receive of the Bumelia Borer, Plinthocoelium suaveolens, are a beautiful metallic green rather than blue, but BugGuide indicates that it is a variable species that can be “metallic green, blue, or bronze. Femora red.“
Rock on! Thanks for the quick response. He’s pretty much the coolest bug we’ve ever seen. Hopefully we’ll see more of them this summer.
Letter 4 – Bumelia Borer
Large green beetle, orange legs, long antennae?
Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 1:52 PM
I found this large green metallic beetle in my oak tree. I have never seen a beetle like this one before, and was wondering if you could tell me what it is!
The body itself was about 3-3.5″ long, and the antennae nearly doubled its length. The legs are also very long and a verigated orange color. Any info would be very appreciated!
There are many beautiful Long Horned Borer Beetles in the family Cerambycidae, but the Bumelia Borer, Plinthocoelium suaveolens, is one of the more beautiful North American species. According to BugGuide: “Larvae are trunk and root borers of Tupelo ( Nyssa ), Bumelia , and Mulberry ( Morus ). Adults are attracted to UV lights and bait.”
Thank you very much for your reply! It was a very beautiful bug. I darn near killed myself trying to get away from it when it flew towards me, LOL! By the way, it’s near impossible to pull your head/neck down inside your body to avoid a bug flight path!
Letter 5 – Basket Pupae: Bumelia Webworm Moth
Gainesville, Florida bugs
These ‘insect items’ were found on the edge of a small, spring-fed, swampy area adjacent to a sandhill. (I know that sounds crazy, but this area of Florida is a bit unpredictable. They were about 2ft above ground level on a pine trunk. There were only 2.
I Did not look for it on your site, as I have no idea where to begin. Butterfly or beetle? Who knows? The ‘baskets’ containing the pupae(?) are about 2cm long, so basket and attachment are about 4-5 cm in length. Sorry about the poor photo quality. Thank you,
Senior Environmental Specialist
Alachua County Environmental Protection Department
We don’t believe these are Moth Pupae, and we are putting out some additional inquiries in an effort to get you an exact identification. Perhaps some Neuropteran or a Caddisfly or other aquatic insect.
(12/29/2007) Basket Cocoons? Weird Pupae?
One of our environmentalists found these weird cocoons or pupae attached to what she thinks was a “Pond Pine” or Spruce. Do you know what they are? Thank you,
Letter 6 – Bumelia Borer
Green, metallic beetle in Texas
Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 5:37 PM
Hi! My husband found this out in our backyard today. July heat in Waco, Texas. It was just crawling around in the grass, and hopped up onto the back porch when he called me out there to see it. Ive tried a few friends…but I get answers from Borer Beetle to Green Bug. Thanks!
Of the answers you received, Borer Beetle is correct, just not very specific. Though there are other families with wood boring beetles, Borer Beetle would generally refer to the family Buprestidae, or the family to which this Bumelia Borer, Plinthocoelium suaveolens, belongs, Cerambycidae. The Bumelia Borer according to BugGuide is found in the Central and Southeastern U.S.
Letter 7 – Bumelia Borer
iridescent beetle with orange legs
July 15, 2010
This beetle was found near San Antonio, Texas. The body was about 1.5 inches long and the antennae were at least that long. The legs were orange and black. Please help identify this beetle. I’ve lived in TX all my life and never saw a beetle like this…except maybe at the zoo.
San Antonio, TX
These are gorgeous photos of a spectacularly beautiful beetle, the Bumelia Borer, Plinthocoelium suaveolens.
Letter 8 – Bumelia Borer
Location: NORHTEAST TEXAS
October 25, 2011 2:11 pm
DEAR BUGMAN I SPOTTED THIS BEETLE IN THE RIVER BOTTOMS OF THE RED RIVER OUTSIDE OF TEXARKANA TX
Signature: ERIC BATES
The first time we ever saw a Bumelia Borer, Plinthocoelium suaveolens, we were aghast at its tropical beauty. We prefer the name Tupelo Borer. You can read about the Tupelo Borer on BugGuide.
Letter 9 – Bumelia Borer
Subject: Ava wants to know what’s this alien bug?
Location: San Antonio, TX
May 29, 2012 7:11 pm
My name is Ava I am 7 and I found this bug in our backyard. The bug looks like an aliens and has skin that reflects light.
I hope you have time to tell me what this bug is.
Signature: Bug ID for Ava
We want you to know that we are very busy right now and we do not have the time to answer all of the letters we are receiving, and we are only able to post one letter to our website this morning, and that letter is your request.
This is a Bumelia Borer, a longhorned borer beetle, and it is the second sighting we received in the last week. Almost all of the reports of Bumelia Borers come from Texas.
The Bumelia Borer spends its larval stage feeding on the wood of Bumelia, Tupelo and Mulberry trees. The adults emerge in the late spring. It really is a beautiful beetle.
We will tell Ava when she comes home from school. She will be very excited.
Letter 10 – Bumelia Borer
Subject: Large thin beetle Bham, Ala.
Location: South of Birmingham Alabama near Little Cahaba River
July 20, 2013 10:32 am
Large thin green back with orange and black legs and prominent horn-like antennae
Signature: Deborah Thomas
Disproportionately long antennae are a distinguishing feature of most Longhorned Borer Beetles in the family Cerambycidae. This is a Bumelia Borer, Plinthocoelium suaveolens.
Letter 11 – Bumelia Borer
Subject: A beautiful green bug
Geographic location of the bug: Arkansas
Time: 11:10 PM EDT
I saw an interesting bug on my porch. Some type of beetle perhaps. Just wondering what it is.
Thank you for your time.
How you want your letter signed: Melody
Letter 12 – Bumelia Borer
Subject: Identify this green metallic bug
Geographic location of the bug: Ranger Creek Rd., Boerne, TX 78006
Time: 10:50 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Please can you identify this bug. It is about 1.5 inches long. Found on a wild cherry tree.
How you want your letter signed: Txbugboy
This gorgeous beetle if a Bumelia Borer, Plinthocoelium suaveolens, and according to BugGuide: “Larvae are trunk and root borers of Tupelo (Nyssa), Gum Bully Sideroxylon (=Bumelia), and Mulberry (Morus).” Perhaps wild cherry is another host. According to Beetles in the Bush:
“This species, occurring across the southern U.S. from Florida and Georgia west to New Mexico and Arizona, is truly one of North America’s most beautiful longhorned beetles due to its large size, brilliant iridescent green coloration, and super-elongate wildly-contrasting orange and black legs.”
Letter 13 – Bumelia Borers and Anglewing attracted to rotting fruit
Subject: Green and metalic green beetle
Location: Sulphur Oklahoma
May 24, 2012 9:34 pm
I put some ripened fruit out so I could attract some butterflies and I caught a picture of this bug. What am I?
Signature: Sherry Cloud
The first time we saw a photo of a Bumelia Borer, Plinthocoelium suaveolens, we were astonished at its beauty. It really is a beautiful beetle. Did your rotting fruit attract any butterflies?
Yes, I am trying my talents at a little photograpy and it helps to attract the butterflies. Here are a couple. I am waiting for the really colorful one!
Hi again Sherry,
Thanks for sending us some butterfly photos. We are posting the Anglewing, probably a Comma. Their wings are actually quite colorful when they are opened. The undersides help to camouflage the resting butterfly by allowing it to blend in with dried leaves.
UPDATE: Mating Bumelia Borers
May 25, 2012
Here this beetle is again, but with a mate I believe. Is it unusual to see them here in Southern Oklahoma? I think it is the male on top and he looks almost like an alien!
Thank you for getting back to me.
Hi again Sherry,
Thanks for sending the photo of the mating Bumelia Borers. Most sightings we have received are from Texas.
According to BugGuide, there are no reports from Oklahoma, but they are reported from adjacent states Texas, Arkansas and Missouri. They are also reported from as far west as Arizona and as far east as Florida.
Letter 14 – Bumelia Borer from Nicaragua
What about this one, What is it?
Location: 12° 3’ 45.67” North, 86° 18’ 51.88” West (Nicaragua, Managua, El Crucero)
November 7, 2011 10:32 pm
I saa two of these flying insect crawling on a tree in my front yard.
When I got near to take pictures one of them flew towards me and bagan circling me.
This Longhorned Borer Beetle looks to us like the Bumelia Borer, Plinthocoelium suaveolens, a species found in warmer portions of the United States according to BugGuide. Insects have no respect for international borders, and the range might be greater than in indicated on BugGuide. We suspect this is the same species or a closely related species.