Currently viewing the category: "Longhorn Beetles"

Subject: Longhorned borer
Location: Silverton, OR
August 21, 2012 4:33 am
This one has been bugging me (no pun intended)
I know it’s a longhorn beetle and by the size of the antennae and colors I would say it looks like a Neoclytus caprea or a Typocerus velutinus but the pattern and coloration are quite different. I live in Oregon and caught him by blacklight. Hopefully you can give me a positive id.
Signature: Jesse

Longhorned Borer Beetle:  Strophiona laeta

Hi Jesse,
Your photos are beautiful.  Do you have a straight dorsal view?
We will research this and get back to you.

Longhorned Borer Beetle:  Strophiona laeta

Thanks, this is a little personal project i’ve been doing.  This snapshot is as close to the view as i have. I turn on a couple backlights by my house every night and see what lands on my window. I live adjacent to an white oak grove if that helps narrow it down at all. I have never scene this type before so i was kind of excited.

Flower Longhorn Beetle:  Strophiona laeta

Hi again Jesse,
Thanks for sending the dorsal view.  This is a gorgeous Longhorned Borer Beetle and we don’t believe it will be too difficult to identify, but it might take some time.  We just returned from a long day at work and we are preparing the posting and tagging it as unidentified while we do the research.  We hope to have an answer for you shortly.

Hi again Jesse,
We believe we have correctly identified your gorgeous Longhorned Borer Beetle as
Stenostrophia tribalteata.  There are several subspecies profiled on BugGuide and the species ranges from California to western Canada.

WTB? contacts Doug Yanega
Hi Doug,
I believe I have correctly identified this beauty as Stenostrophia tribalteata.  The specimen was attracted to a black light in Silverton, northern Oregon at the edge of a white oak grove.  Now I am beginning to doubt the ID I made because no photos show the yellow underbelly and the pubescence that appears on the ventral surface as well as the thoracic region.  Can you confirm or correct and possibly narrow to subspecies?   Also, any thoughts on black lights to attract Cerambycids?
Thanks for any possible information.

Ed. Note:  Another possiblity
Moments after reaching out to entomologist Doug Yanega, we believe we might have identified the correct species as
Strophiona tigrina, which appears to be a much better match according to images posted to BugGuide.  The data for the range on bugGuide is also a match.  Again, there is no specific information on BugGuide and the banding pattern is not exactly the same as the individual on the Natural History of Orange County website.  Strophiona laeta, which BugGuide reports from California might be the best match.

Doug Yanega confirms Strophiona laeta.
That’s correct.

Subject: Unidentified Beetle found in McCleary, WA
Location: McCleary, WA
August 20, 2012 10:04 pm
We are hoping you may be able to help us identify a beetle we found on our screen door this evening 8/20/2012, in McCleary, WA. It measured approximately 2cm. The antennae were alternating black and white (or at least black and a lighter, contrasting color). The texture of the shell/wings looked very ”pitted”.
Thank you for your help!
Signature: Sarah and Shawn Z

Red Shouldered Pine Borer

Dear Sarah and Shawn,
Your Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae is
Stictoleptura canadensis, and it goes by the common name Red Shouldered Pine Borer.  It is a transcontinental species found in both the east and the west.  We have an example of a Red Shouldered Pine Borer in our archives that is colored like your specimen, and we have another example of a Red Shouldered Pine Borer that is colored more like its common name indicates, with red shoulders.  BugGuide shows both individuals with red elytra and others with black elytra and red shoulders and the only images of mating pairs of Red Shouldered Pine Borers on BugGuide have the female with the coloration like your individual and the male with red shoulders, however there is no indication on BugGuide that this is sexual dimorphism.  To further complicate the picture, there are a few examples of all black Red Shouldered Pine Borers on BugGuide.  We are going to contact Doug Yanega and Eric Eaton to see if either of them can explain this variation in coloration.

Red Shouldered Pine Borer

Doug Yanega explains the color variations
As noted in my field guide, S. canadensis (the eastern subspecies) varies from red-shouldered to completely red elytra, in both sexes. I didn’t investigate other subspecies, but can’t imagine why they wouldn’t also be variable in coloration. There are LOTS of cerambycids with numerous color variants (as opposed to sexual dimorphism), and they’re often sympatric (i.e., genuine variation, rather than geographic differentiation).
Doug Yanega
Dept. of Entomology
Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA

Thank you so much!!! We thought we had correctly identified it as a female Elderberry Longhorn (Desmocerus auripennis) because it has the same texture on the outer wings and looked nearly identical. The only difference were the antennae, which were verigated (unlike the images of D.auripennis we found).
Would love to know what causes the color variation.
Again, thanks so much for getting back to us! We love your website!
-Sarah and Shawn Z


Subject: What is this huge flying bug?
Location: Escondido CA
August 13, 2012 1:43 am
Please help me identify this huge flying bug. I found it at night in my swimming pool. I thought it was dead but after I fished it out it started walking around.
It was ~2.5-3” long and had what looked to be 2 sets of wings.
Signature: Thanks, Matt

Ponderous Borer

Hi Matt,
This is one of the large Root Borers in the subfamily Prioninae.  We believe it is the Palo Verde Root Borer,
Derobrachus hovorei and according to BugGuide, they are attracted to lights.  Perhaps the pool light caused this individual to fly into your pool.

Ed. Note:  Suspecting we might be wrong, we get a second opinion from Eric Eaton
Hi Eric,
Seems I have been confusing the Palo Verde Root Borer with the Ponderous Borer lately.  I believe this is the Palo Verde Root Borer.  Can you confirm?

Eric Eaton provides correction and explanation
Nope, this is a Ponderous Borer.  Note the fine teeth on the midsection (thorax).  The thorax of the Palo Verde Root Borer has very large, prominent teeth, almost spike-like.  You also won’t likely find them together.  Palo Verde Borers are in desert habitats with palo verde trees.  Ponderous Borers bore in coniferous trees, so occur at higher elevations.

Subject: california beetle
Location: Black Point, Novato, California
August 9, 2012 2:18 pm
Three of these have come into our house in Northern California in the evenings this August. The closest I could come to identifying is to some kind of blister beetle.
Signature: Ruth Corwin

Yellow Douglas Fir Borer

Hi Ruth,
This is not a Blister Beetle.  It is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae.  In June, we posted our first photos of the Yellow Douglas Fir Borer, and at that time it took us a bit of time to track down its identity.  The Oregon State University Insect ID Clinic website states:  “This is a common long horned beetle in the west that feeds under the bark of Douglas-fir as a larva. The black spots on the sides of the beetle distinguish it from some of the other species that occur in Oregon .”

Thank you, Daniel, for the identification. The black spots are very clear.
And thank you for the link to the post at your site. We’re at the opposite end of the Douglas Fir range from LL in Canada, at the southernmost extension with a zone of these firs in Marin County.  My house at the mouth of the Petaluma River is maybe 12 miles west of the nearest area. It’s a little surprising to see these bugs on the edge of San Francisco Bay.
Your help is much appreciated.
All the best.
Ruth Corwin


Look what is coming to the porch lights!!!
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
August 6, 2012
The nights have gotten really warm and Sunday night, three of these unknown Longhorned Borer Beetleswere attracted to the porch light.  One was captured so that it could be photographed in the morning since unlike many creatures that are attracted to the porch lights, the Longhorned Borer Beetles are never around in the morning.  After an hour in the refrigerator, this normally very active beetle was lethargic enough to photograph.  This individual appears to be a female.  When she first came out of the refrigerator, her ovipositor was visible, but it quickly retracted.  These beetles appear each summer and we have yet to establish an identity.  We have placed a request with Doug Yanega, but we received an out of office notice and we don’t know when we will hear back from him.  We have also contacted Eric Eaton for assistance.

Unknown Longhorned Borer Beetle

Last night, there were five individuals attracted to the light, including two that were significantly smaller, less than 3/4 of an inch in length.  The largest individuals have a body about 1 1/4 inches, not including the antennae.  The beetles are very active and squeak when handled.

Unknown Longhorned Borer Beetle

Eric Eaton Responds
My guess (and it is just that) for the Mt. Washington longhorn would be Paranoplium gracile:
but I’m sure Doug could confirm or refute.
I think the ID on the Neandra is correct.  I don’t believe they are rare, just not encountered very often.

Ed. Note:
BugGuide does not provide any specific information on this species, however, we did find an online book, The Field Guide to Beetles of California by Arthur Evans and  James N. Hogue that provides this information:  “The sole species of Paranoplium, P. gracile, (12.0 – 24.0 mm), whose larva feeds on oak and other hardwoods, is active in summer and is divided into two subspecies of dubious validity.  Paranoplium g. gracile is found along the coast from Monterey County to San Diego County, while P. g. laticolle lives in the southern Sierra Nevada. ” 

Doug Yanega Responds
August 14, 2012
[My first thought] Given the size and profile, I suspect this is one of the various Phymatodes. I have yet to become fully acquainted with the west coast bycid fauna, however. It is, at the very least, in Cerambycinae, which narrows it down ever so slightly.  Looking at the photos, and comparing to specimens in our collection (rather few, actually), I would support Eric’s ID on this one.


Look What Came to the Porch Light
Location:  Mt. Washington, Los Angeles, CA
August 5, 2012
Last night while taking out the garbage, it was obvious that the warmer than normal night was bringing the critters to the porch light.  There were three of the still unidentified Cerambycids that first made an appearance over a week ago, and a reddish beetle on the ledge caught our attention.  It looked like a Stag Beetle at first, but closer inspection revealed the antennae of a Borer Beetle, another unknown Cerambycid.

Pole Borer

At just shy of an inch long, this is no mammoth, but it is still an impressive beetle.  It was captured with a champagne flute and a postcard and left on the kitchen table until morning light would allow better photos.  A quick trip to BugGuide quickly produced a visual match with a Pole Borer, Neandra brunnea, but alas, it is listed as eastern North America on BugGuide and the data page shows no sightings west of Colorado.  A second member of the genus, Neandra marginicollis, is listed as “sw. US (AZ-CA)” on BugGuide, but is it only represented by a mounted specimen and there are no photos of living inviduals.

Pole Borer

There is no specific information on BugGuide for Neandra marginicollis, the the information for Neandra brunnea posted to BugGuide might also be relevant for the west coast species, including:  “A robust yellowish-brown to reddish-brown longhorn, resembles a stag beetle, perhaps, but antennae are not clubbed. Specific characters(1)(2):
tarsi with five visible segments, no process between tarsal claws
eyes emarginate
pronotum subquadrate (almost square), widest at front
elytra without striations” and “Larvae bore in trees and structural wood (poles, crossties, etc.) in contact with moist ground. Adults frequently come to lights, though sometimes adults emerge, mate, and lay eggs in the same cavity they occupied as a larva.”
We suspect a warming trend is bringing out the beetles.  Nights are in the mid to high sixties and days are in the high eighties.  According to the neighbor, we are expecting a hot week.

Pole Borer