Currently viewing the category: "Longhorn Beetles"
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Subject: Monster bug
Location: Twentynine Palms, CA
July 1, 2012 11:40 am
I occasionally see these monster bugs at night during the summer. I managed to get daytime photos of an injured one. It was on my patio in Twentynine Palms, CA. I’ve seen bigger ones before. I used a metric scal and also a tape measure in inches. Can you please tell me what it is? Thank you.
Signature: Gail McCormick

Palo Verde Root Borer

Hi Gail,
This impressive beetle is a Ponderous Borer,
Trichocnemis spiculatus.  According to BugGuide:  “Grubs are found chiefly in ponderosa pine and Douglas fir”

Correction:  Palo Verde Root Borer
Seems we were hasty in our identification and when that happens, we sometimes make mistakes.  Thanks to a comment from a reader, we have made a correction.  See BugGuide for confirmation.


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Subject: shiny blue beetle
Location: portland oregon
June 26, 2012 5:15 pm
I am a preschool teacher in Portland Oregon. I found some of the kids on the playground playing with this beetle a few weeks ago. we kept it for a few days in a small aquarium with some of the plants we had found it around. since we let it go we have found several more of these around the playground some of them dead or injured. we would like to know what kind of beetle they are and what they eat so if we find ones that are injured the children can try to keep and take care of them.
Signature: sara s.

Longhorned Borer Beetle

Hi Sara,
This is one of the Longhorned Borer Beetles in the family Cerambycidae, however, we were not familiar with this beauty.  We quickly found what we believe is a correct identification as
Semanotus amythstinum on BugGuide.  We want to get a second opinion from Eric Eaton.  If we are correct, the host tree is Incense Cedar.   If we are correct, there are not many photos online and very little information on the species.  The host plant would provide the larval food source and we are not certain what the adults eat.

Eric Eaton confirms identification.
Yes it is!  One of my favorite beetles from there 🙂
When it comes to wood-boring beetles, timing is everything.  If you are not in the right place at the right time, you would never know such animals even existed.  They tend to be locally-common, too, because as larvae they develop only in wood of a certain age and condition.  So yes, they are uncommon unless you know where and when to look.

I can see why its one of your favorites. It was the most adorable and sociable bugs I have ever met. When we would take her out of the enclosure she would walk up and down our arms then fly around the kitchen then land back on one of us. She would sometimes crawl right to the edge of my husbands hand and seem to look him right in the face almost like she was communicating.
I have a strange question. Does it spin silk. I ask because it was hanging from its ovipositor and a strange sticky substance was on the side of the aquarium. I made certain there were no other bugs in the enclosure.

To the best of our knowledge, they do not spin silk.

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Subject: BUG ID please
Location: Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada
June 23, 2012 12:08 pm
I found this bug in a friend’s garden and would be interested to know what it is.
Signature: LL

Yellow Douglas Fir Borer

Dear LL,
We did not recognize your beetle, but we were relatively certain it was a Longhorned Borer Beetle, so we began to search.  Our first hit was the My Garden blog with some nice photos, but alas, no identification.  Continued searching revealed this to be a Yellow Douglas Fir Borer, Centrodera spurca, which we found on BugGuide.  BugGuide has no information on the species, but it is listed along the western coast of North America from British Columbia to California.  The Oregon State University Insect ID Clinicstates:  “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 .”

Yellow Douglas Fir Borer

Thank you SO much for your quick response – your detailed information and links to sites with pics and more information are very helpful. I know that you provide these responses on a volunteer basis, so thank you again for educating me!
Warm regards
Liesbeth Leatherbarrow

You are welcome.

Hello again – I thought you might be interested to see this other picture that I took of the yellow Douglas fir borer yesterday, showing that, like thousands of other critters, it has great camouflage capabilities in the leaf litter – notice the Douglas fir cone!
Once more, thanks for your help in identifying this very cool-looking beetle

Yellow Douglas Fir Borer

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: beetle of some sort?
Location: Wrightsville Beach, NC
June 20, 2012 12:59 pm
I live on the coast in North Carolina and found this bug crawling on our deck. I haven’t been able to ID it. Can you help? Thanks!
Signature: joneswb

Cabbage Palm Longhorn

Dear joneswb,
After a bit of searching, we identified your beetle as a Cabbage Palm Longhorn or Palmetto Longhorn,
Osmopleura chamaeropis.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on Cabbage Palmettos (Sabal palmetto) in Florida” and its range is “Florida and Georgia and recently, one specimen from Texas.”  Perhaps your North Carolina sighting is a range expansion due to global warming or the cultivation of palmettos in North Carolina, or perhaps a specimen was accidentally transported in baggage or with goods.

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A few insects
Location:  Southern Illinois
June 20, 2012  8:05 AM
A few more questions for What’s That Bug.  Two weeks ago while walking I got to see these first two insects in the same patch of sweet peas.  A little help in the ID would be nice.  The other insect is feeding on Poison Hemlock.  The RedBug pic would be R rated I think.
Thank you, JimmyDean

Mating Milkweed Longhorns and Japanese Beetle

Dear JimmyDean,
Please use our standard form each time you submit a new request.  We realize it is easier to just respond to a previous request, but by not using our forms, important fields might be overlooked, like location.  We needed to hunt down your previous posting on our site to ascertain your location as Southern Illinois, provided of course these images were not taken on a road trip.  We are posting your photo of mating Milkweed Longhorns, also called Red Milkweed Beetles or Milkweed Borers.  A Japanese Beetle, an invasive exotic species that has naturalized in the eastern states, is also in the photo.  The plants are not sweet peas but milkweed, and there is a diverse community of insects and other creatures that flourishes around milkweed.  The other milkweed photo is of mating Large Milkweed Bugs and the insect on the poison hemlock is a Soldier Beetle.

I apologize for not using the form.  I was running hard this morning (or was it yesterday?) and forgot.  I will make sure that I go to the form next time. Thanks for the assistance.  Jim

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note:  Announcing a new tag:  Buggy Vocabulary Words
In an attempt to better educate our readership, we have created a new tag that will better explain some important Buggy Vocabulary Words, beginning with Ovipositor
Here is what the online Webster has to relay:  “a specialized organ (as of an insect) for depositing eggs”.  Future Buggy Vocabulary Words postings will include Phoresy, Metamorphosis and the ever popular Exuvia. 

Location: Monmouth County, NJ
June 13, 2012 6:37 pm
I found this beetle on a juniper shrub in my garden. Not used to seeing such large arthropods in this area. Wondering if it is dining on my shrubs and control measures if that is the case.
Signature: JK

Broad Necked Root Borer

Ed. Note:  This conversation was rescued from the trash.  We will use this to create a new tag for Buggy Vocabulary Words
female root borer, not generally plentiful enough to be a problem.

Dear JK,
This is a female Broad Necked Root Borer,
Prionus laticollis (See BugGuide), and what appears to be a stinger is her ovipositor, an organ adapted to facilitate in the egg laying process.  Generally, the longer the ovipositor, the further the female must bury her eggs. A Stump Stabber, a totally unrelated member of the wasp family might have the longest ovipositor in the insect world, and some female Stump Stabbers in the genus Megarhyssa have ovipositors as long as five inches.  It is believed that in stinging insects like wasps and bees, the ovipositor has evolved into a stinger that the female may use if she is threatened.  It has caused to wildly speculate about the dual purpose of the ovipositor in wasps, and we can’t help but to wonder if a wasp deposits an egg each time she stings and if her venom might somehow serve some other purpose that benefits the egg.  Wouldn’t it be the craziest thing if when a female Tarantula Hawk stings and paralyzes her prey, she might deposit an egg during the stinging process?  That is most likely a crazy thought, but it gives us a reason to link to the Tarantula Hawk as an insect whose sting caused by a modified ovipositor is reported to be among the most painful in the insect world.  We even put the Tarantula Hawk in the coveted first position when we created The Big 5 tag last summer and promptly forgot to inform the webmaster we had a new tag.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination