Currently viewing the category: "Longhorn Beetles"

Subject: Beetle in Yosemite NP
Location: Near a creek @ about 6000’
August 3, 2012 3:19 pm
I want to determine if this is a native beetle or non-native. The location is southern Yosemite National Park at about 6000’ in a creek canyon.
The closest match I could come up with is Stictoleptura cordigera, but that would mean it is invasive. It doesn’t really look line the Elderberry longhorn beetle to me… color pattern is off.
Signature: PR

Elderberry Longhorn

Dear PR,
This is an Elderberry Longhorn and it is a native species.  The beetles in the genus
Desmocerus are collectively known as Elderberry Longhorns, and the species that truly owns the common name Elderberry Longhorn is Desmocerus palliatus, a species found in eastern North America according to BugGuide.  The other two species are west coast species and Desmocerus aureipennis has two subspecies and several color variations.  Your pictures are an exact match to this image of Desmocerus aureipennis aureipennis that is posted to BugGuide as well as to this image of the western Elderberry Longhorn from our archives that does not have a black patch on the elytra.  It seems according to the images on BugGuide, that the female of the species has the black patches, though that is not stated.  We believe this is a rare species.  This is a very beautiful beetle and your photographs are a wonderful addition to our archives.

Elderberry Borer

I’m glad to have helped and glad to know more about this amazing beetle!
Could you please credit the pic to Patrick Roe.

Update:  August 6, 2012
Hi there Daniel-
I’ve had two conflicting answers asa to the ID on this beetle.  I would like to bring this to your attention in case there was some error on  I should mention I am a ranger in Yosemite and after posing the question to our Wildlife department, I received a response stating it was actually a female Elderberry Longhorn Beetle which is endangered.  “The black spot on the elytra (wing covers of beetles) identify it as a female Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle.”  Is their an identifying mark that would help me distinguish between the two species?  I want to make sure this photo is not being mis-identified.
Patrick Roe

Hi Patrick,
We are a bit confused with this email.  You did not indicate which two species you got conflicting answers on and where the conflict originated.  Here at What’s That Bug?, we do not have any scientific background, so we always defer to real experts.  We deduced the information on the wing patches based on the images posted to BugGuide.  Where did your quote come from?  What species or subspecies is the Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle? since none of the species and subspecies on BugGuide have common names except the general Elderberry Longhorn for the entire genus.

Hi there – Sorry about that!
Here is the picture I sent you and is posted on your site currently.  2012/08/03/elderberry-longhorn-2/
The response I got from the same picture via the Wildlife division here in the park is that it was a Valley Elderberry Longhorn.  I’m just not sure what to think now.  They were surprised to see I found it at 6000′, when the Valley Elderberry Longhorn’s highest known elevation was 3000′ previously.  I’m wondering if they misidentified it or if the site is incorrect….  What is the elevation range of Desmocerus aureipennis aureipennis?

Hi Daniel –
After further discussion – Wildlife division here concurs that it is the Desmocerus aureipennis aureipennis.  Thanks for helping me figure this out!!

Thanks for the update Patrick.  It is nice to know we are all in agreement now.  We want to reiterate that this is a positively gorgeous beetle.

Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, 2 August, 2012
We first noticed one of these 1 1/4 inch long Cerambycids last weekend when Loredana came to dinner and we made homemade ravioli filled with spinach and ricotta, in a butter sage sauce.
  There was no time to take a photo and Loredana was a bit freaked out when we picked up the lovely Bycid that was attracted to the porch light.  Then last night, another was spotted on the wooden door and it was captured for a few photos.  The beetle was carried on Daniel’s wrist to the porch light to improve the exposure.  We have posted photos of this unknown Mount Washington Bycid once before in 2007.  It appears that may be a female of the same species owing to the shorter antennae.  We don’t know what species this is, so we are going to contact Doug Yanega at UC Riverside for his opinion.

Male Longhorned Borer Beetle

Subject: Monochamus whatsis?
Location: Southern Michigan at latitude 41
July 29, 2012 6:54 pm
I took this photo sometime between July 6—11, 2012. I’ve narrowed it down to Monochamus but I can’t find anything that has the reddish markings on the back. I found a picture of Monochamus obtusus that is a similar color, but the shape of that was more shovel-like. Can you help me identify this one?
Signature: Anna

Red Oak Borer

Hi Anna,
This beetle has similar markings and coloration to a posting we made about an hour ago of a Cerambycid we thought might be in the genus
Goes.  Your photo should make identification much easier since it is a better photo.  There do not appear to be any thoracic spines, which seem to be a characteristic of Goes species, so we are now doubting that identification.  We are also still waiting to hear back from Eric Eaton and Doug Yanega and we also forwarded them your photograph.  Meanwhile, we are going to continue to search.  We believe we have identified this species in the past, but we just cannot place it so we will be browsing BugGuide.

Eric Eaton Makes a Correction:  Red Oak Borer
Wow, great specimen of a male Red Oak Borer, Enaphalodes rufulus:
One of my favorite beetles, but did not know it ranged that far north.  Females have shorter antennae.

Doug Yanega concurs
Enaphalodes rufulus.

Subject: Ivory-marked Beetle?
Location: Northeast Florida
July 29, 2012 4:15 pm
I’ve never seen a bug like this before. It was sitting in the shade on the door of my shed this morning when I went out to mow the grass. It was still in the same shady spot in the middle of the afternoon. When the sun hit that area the beetle began to move around and left. It was about an inch long with very distinctive markings. I hunted through beetles on Bug Guide and I think this is an Ivory-marked Beetle (Eburia quadrigeminata). The markings match but the body color is a little different. Can you help?
Signature: Karen in FL

Possibly Ivory Marked Beetle

Hi Karen,
This is the third Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae that we are posting in a row this morning.  This might be an Ivory Marked Beetle,
Eburia quadrigeminata, though there are other members in the genus Eburia that look very similar.  We could not discount that it might be Eburia distincta, a species that feeds on Cypress trees and which BugGuide only reports from Florida.  There are also several other species in the genus that are only reported from Florida.

Subject: Striking black and white beetle!
Location: Seattle, Washington
August 1, 2012 10:33 am
My husband sent me a text with this picture of a large black and white striped beetle with incredible antennae (also striped)and asked me what it was. I work in fisheries but have no idea when it comes to bugs, so I did some internet searches and could only find pictures of beetles with more mottled black and white coloration, not the very distinct stripes this guy has. Just wondering if you guys can tell me what it is?
Signature: From a curious ichthyologist

Banded Alder Borer

Dear curious ichthyologist,
This might well be our favorite North American beetle, the Banded Alder Borer.  It is found in the western portion of North America.  It really is a stunning looking beetle.

Subject: Is this bug dangerous?
Location: Shrewsbury, MA near the Boylston border
August 1, 2012 9:52 am
I want to make sure this is not a quarentine bug if I am to let it go. I live near Worcester, MA which has the ALB problem.
Signature: Paul

Red Oak Borer

Hi Paul,
This is a native Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae, the same family as the Asian Longhorned Borer (ALB).  When species are introduced to new locations, they often do not have natural predators and they can become problematic invasive exotic species.  Native species, though they sometimes damage the plants that they are feeding upon, are generally not thought of as threats.  We believe based on BugGuide images that this might be a member of the genus
Goes, perhaps Goes debilis.  According to BugGuide, the members of this genus are:  “Typically twig girdlers or stem borers.”  We are going to try to get a second (and possibly third) opinion on this identification by contacting Eric Eaton and Doug Yanega.

Red Oak Borer

Eric Eaton Makes a Correction:  Red Oak Borer
Funny, this *is* the same species as the other:  Red Oak Borer, Enaphalodes rufulus, but female this time.  Pretty certain of the species ID, anyway.