How To Get Rid Of Asian Longhorn Beetles?

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Asian longhorn beetles are potent enough to cause a catastrophic impact on our hardwood industry. While there aren’t many ways to get rid of them, we will list some things that you can do in this article.

Asian Longhorn beetles are known as dangerous species of beetle that feed on the living tissue of hardwood trees.

They are known for their penchant for damaging maples, mulberries, horse chestnuts, and similar trees.

These insects came to America a few years ago and have been spreading in many states.

There aren’t many ways to get rid of them currently apart from tree removal, so as of now, the best option is to simply remove the tree and those surrounding it to stop their spread.

How To Get Rid Of Asian Longhorn Beetles

What are Asian Longhorn Beetles?

The Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) falls under the order Coleoptera and belongs to the family Cerambycidae.

As the name suggests, Asian longhorn beetles are native to Asian countries, particularly China and Korea. But in recent years, they have traveled to the United States and have now become a serious pest here.

Adult beetles have glossy black bodies which can measure from 0.7 to 1.6 inches in length. The bodies have a yellow of white spot on their wing covers.

They also have two long antennae that have 11 segments. The antennae of the males are almost twice their body length, and in females, they are 1.5 times the length.

The long antennae are the reason why these bugs are called long horns.

The lifecycle of the Asian Longhorn varies from two to three years. The adults show maximum activity during summer months, whereas the larvae spend their entire time inside their host trees.

Why are Asian Longhorn Beetles So Dangerous?

These beetles are a blight upon hardwood trees. They can completely destroy hardwood trees by eating them from the outside to their very core.

The female beetle enters the tree by chewing the bark and then lays her eggs inside. The eggs hatch into larvae that dig deep tunnels inside the bark.

The larvae feed on the tissues of the trees, sucking the plant sap and thus interfering with the food transport system of the tree.

By sucking out the plant sap from the middle, they make the upper parts of the tree nutrient-starved, thus causing it to wither away and the leaves to yellow.

Additionally, many studies have shown that these species of beetles can fly through several blocks in the city to find a new host tree, which can spread the infestation very quickly.

Fortunately, Asian longhorn horned beetles prefer laying eggs on the same tree on which they grew up.

How To Get Rid Of Asian Longhorn Beetles

Economic Impact

Maples are the preferred host plants of Asian Long-horned beetles. When the insect destroys maple trees, it impacts syrup production and the maple syrup industry.

Maple syrup is a $1.6bn industry, and these bugs can spread quickly and destroy entire forests of maple trees, causing losses worth billions of dollars.

Maple trees are not only good for obtaining tasty maple syrup but are also used in the manufacture of hardwood furniture and floors.

The ALB larvae make these trees dangerously hollow by building galleries inside the wood. This makes the wood incapable of milling, creating a huge loss for the entire hardwood industry.

Another important impact of these insects is that their larval galleries disrupt the structure and supporting tissues of the sugar maples.

This causes the tree’s branches to fall off when it is windy, disrupting power lines and roads and falling on unsuspecting pedestrians.

What Are The Signs of Infestation?

The telltale sign of infested trees is possession of wilted leaves and canopy dieback.

Another common sign is round exit holes the size of a penny, which the beetle larvae create to emerge as adults. This happens around July.

These exit holes are quite deep. If you try inserting a pencil in the exit hole, you will find that it will go in 1-inch deep.

Additionally, you can find round, ½ inch depressions in the outer bark, which are egg-laying sites for these bugs.

You might also notice a clear or yellowing fluid coming out of the tree, which actually plants cell sap oozing out of the exit holes.

Another tell-tale sign of their infestation is the mess they create at the bottom of the tree, which consists of sawdust and frass.

What Are The Actions Being Taken To Curb Its Spread?

The ALB first came to America in untreated wooden boxes, and this is the primary way in which they are traveling between states right now.

To curb this problem, the government has set International standards that make treating wooden materials with chemicals necessary.

The wood for packing materials is first kiln-dried and then chemically treated to keep away any microbes.

The government has also declared certain regions as quarantines to prevent the spread of these beetles from one to another tree.

One of the major areas of the infestation right now is New York City.

The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets have worked together to investigate susceptible trees.

NYS department operates functions such as removal of nearby trees and chemical treatments on trees to eliminate the beetle pest in the cities of New York City and Long Island.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you treat longhorn beetles?

Chemical treatments through drilled injections seem to be working efficiently to eradicate longhorn beetles from infested areas.
Parasitoids are also being tested out though with limited success. Since the ALB is new to America, it does not have any natural enemies here.
As of now, the best way is to simply remove the tree to stop the spread.

How long does a longhorn beetle live?

The longhorn beetles can complete their life cycle within two to three years. They spend most of their time as larvae, boring through wood.
They show maximal activity in April and May but can be found eating tree leaves, bark wood and so on until October.

Can long-horned beetles fly?

Yes, long-horned beetles can fly across a few blocks of cities or around 400 yards. Studies have shown that some of them can fly as far as 8 miles!
But this is only true of the strongest bugs in their species. It is quite rare as longhorn beetles like to remain attached to the same tree on which they hatched.

How do I get rid of longhorn beetles in my house?

These beetles typically do not invade houses. They might come in through firewood or as part of a wooden crate.
ALBs are not harmful to the drywood furniture inside your house, so there is nothing much to worry about. These creatures will likely look for an exit from your home, so just shushing them away should be enough.

Wrap Up

Asian longhorns can cause both economic and ecological impacts. Thus many government organizations are working to control them right now.

We shared some ways to detect their presence in this article. As of now, the best thing you can do is to be vigilant and if you find any of these signs on a tree near you, inform the proper authorities immediately.

Thank you for reading!

Reader Emails

Longhorn beetles can be a big menace to beneficial trees. Many of our readers sent us pics of beetles they spotted near their homes to verify with us whether what they had spotted was an Asian longhorn.

Please go some of these letters and photographs below.

Letter 1 – Longhorned Borer: genus Monochamus

 

Big Ugly
Bugman, I’ve seen alot of bugs but not one like this. We found it last July in New Era Michigan. We were on vacation renting a cottage on the shore of Lake Michigan. We kept it for a couple of days in a bug container so it’s a hardy specimen. We gave him the name big ugly. His body was around 3-4 inches long.
Happy Holidays, Chris Mayo

Hi Chris,
This is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the genus Monochamus. They are also known as Pine Sawyers and the entire family, Cerambycidae, are known as Longicorn Beetles because of the lengthy antennae on the males of some species.

Letter 2 – Unknown Longhorned Borer from California

 

Do you know what kind of bug this is?
Location:  Southern California
August 18, 2010 1:14 am
found this while cleaning up a pile of redwood logs. It ran pretty fast and survived a cat attack !
Thanks for your expertise : )
jenny

Unknown Longhorned Borer

Hi Jenny,
In a general sense, this is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae, and we believe it is in the subfamily Cerambycinae which is well represented on BugGuide.  The species seems very familiar to us, but we have been unable to locate an identification.  Hopefully we can enlist the assistance of our readership.

Letter 3 – Longhorned Borer: Semanotus amethystinum we believe

 

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.
Eric

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.

Letter 4 – Longhorned Borer Emerges from Carved Mexican Snake!!!

 

Subject: Wood Boring Beetle
Location: Yucatan, Mexico
July 7, 2012 8:20 pm
Last July in 2011 while traveling through the Yucatan in Mexico we stopped at the pyramids of Chichen Itza and purchased a large hand carved wooden snake.
Fast forward about 6 months and started hearing chomping and clicking sounds coming from inside the snake, a few days later there were several talcum like saw dust powder mounds,but no actual holes, i promptly wrapped the snake in a dozen layers of saran wrap. for the past few weeks i’ve noticed more attempts of the insect trying to bore it’s way out but could not break through the saran wrap.
then upon my weekly inspection i finally saw it today burrowing out of the fang of the snake breaking through the plastic and crawling out, sadly we had to put it down due to not wanting invasive insects taking over! the snake has been re wrapped just incase theres more insects (there are holes dug out the entire length of the snake which is approx. 2ft x 6in.x6in.)…. i really love this carving and would hate to part with it, if theres any information you can provide about what this beetle is and if there there could be more than just one on a feeding frenzy! thanks!
Signature: -stephanie

Longhorned Borer Beetle emerges from carved Mexican snake

Hi Stephanie,
This beetle is in the genus
Eburia and there are quite a few species that are native to the United States.  We cannot be certain of the exact species as the members of the family look very similar.  The Ivory Marked Beetle is probably the most distinctive. We occasionally get reports of beetles emerging from finished wood products or milled lumber many years after they were built, but they are usually members in the Metallic Borer Beetle family Buprestidae.  Your Longhorned Borer is in the family Cerambycidae.  You were probably wise to make sure it did not escape.

Letter 5 – Longhorned Borer from Brazil: Unxia species

 

Subject: Beautiful bug!
Location: Marau, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil
October 3, 2012 10:15 pm
Hi, I live in the south of Brazil and as you can imagine, it’s a country full of magnificent species that one may not see in a whole life time!
I found this bug (well, my cat found it) and I wanted to know its name! I’m very curious!
Signature: Mariana

Longhorned Borer Beetle: Unxia species

Hi Mariana,
It didn’t take us long to identify your Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae as
Compsocerus violaceus thanks to a photo posted on the FlickR Museum of Life webpage.  We verified that ID on TrekNature as well as on the Worldwide Cerambycidae Photo Gallery.

Correction:  December 14, 2016
Thanks to a correction from Cerambycid expert Doug Yanega, we now know that this is a member of the genus
Unxia, which is pictured on Cerabycidae Catalog Search.

Letter 6 – Longhorned Borer from Oregon might be Neoclytus conjunctus

 

Longhorned Borer Beetle
Longhorned Borer Beetle

Subject: Borers in Oregon
Location: Josephine Co., Oregon
October 19, 2014 5:39 pm
We were splitting Madrone firewood today (10/19/14), and it was full of borers of some kind. There were two varieties. The black & green variety was the most common (probably 90%), but there were also some of the red and black. We’re interested in learning more about them, particularly whether they’re a threat to our woods.
Signature: Jim

Dear Jim,
We believe your Longhorned Borer might be
Neoclytus conjunctus, which is a native species found along the western portion of North America according to BugGuide.  Alas, BugGuide does not offer any specific information on the species.  We suspect it is not a cause for concern as it is a native species.  Your red and black beetle belongs to a different family and we will research its identity later.

Letter 1 – Longhorned Borer: genus Monochamus

 

Big Ugly
Bugman, I’ve seen alot of bugs but not one like this. We found it last July in New Era Michigan. We were on vacation renting a cottage on the shore of Lake Michigan. We kept it for a couple of days in a bug container so it’s a hardy specimen. We gave him the name big ugly. His body was around 3-4 inches long.
Happy Holidays, Chris Mayo

Hi Chris,
This is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the genus Monochamus. They are also known as Pine Sawyers and the entire family, Cerambycidae, are known as Longicorn Beetles because of the lengthy antennae on the males of some species.

Letter 2 – Unknown Longhorned Borer from California

 

Do you know what kind of bug this is?
Location:  Southern California
August 18, 2010 1:14 am
found this while cleaning up a pile of redwood logs. It ran pretty fast and survived a cat attack !
Thanks for your expertise : )
jenny

Unknown Longhorned Borer

Hi Jenny,
In a general sense, this is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae, and we believe it is in the subfamily Cerambycinae which is well represented on BugGuide.  The species seems very familiar to us, but we have been unable to locate an identification.  Hopefully we can enlist the assistance of our readership.

Letter 3 – Longhorned Borer: Semanotus amethystinum we believe

 

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.
Eric

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.

Letter 4 – Longhorned Borer Emerges from Carved Mexican Snake!!!

 

Subject: Wood Boring Beetle
Location: Yucatan, Mexico
July 7, 2012 8:20 pm
Last July in 2011 while traveling through the Yucatan in Mexico we stopped at the pyramids of Chichen Itza and purchased a large hand carved wooden snake.
Fast forward about 6 months and started hearing chomping and clicking sounds coming from inside the snake, a few days later there were several talcum like saw dust powder mounds,but no actual holes, i promptly wrapped the snake in a dozen layers of saran wrap. for the past few weeks i’ve noticed more attempts of the insect trying to bore it’s way out but could not break through the saran wrap.
then upon my weekly inspection i finally saw it today burrowing out of the fang of the snake breaking through the plastic and crawling out, sadly we had to put it down due to not wanting invasive insects taking over! the snake has been re wrapped just incase theres more insects (there are holes dug out the entire length of the snake which is approx. 2ft x 6in.x6in.)…. i really love this carving and would hate to part with it, if theres any information you can provide about what this beetle is and if there there could be more than just one on a feeding frenzy! thanks!
Signature: -stephanie

Longhorned Borer Beetle emerges from carved Mexican snake

Hi Stephanie,
This beetle is in the genus
Eburia and there are quite a few species that are native to the United States.  We cannot be certain of the exact species as the members of the family look very similar.  The Ivory Marked Beetle is probably the most distinctive. We occasionally get reports of beetles emerging from finished wood products or milled lumber many years after they were built, but they are usually members in the Metallic Borer Beetle family Buprestidae.  Your Longhorned Borer is in the family Cerambycidae.  You were probably wise to make sure it did not escape.

Letter 5 – Longhorned Borer from Brazil: Unxia species

 

Subject: Beautiful bug!
Location: Marau, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil
October 3, 2012 10:15 pm
Hi, I live in the south of Brazil and as you can imagine, it’s a country full of magnificent species that one may not see in a whole life time!
I found this bug (well, my cat found it) and I wanted to know its name! I’m very curious!
Signature: Mariana

Longhorned Borer Beetle: Unxia species

Hi Mariana,
It didn’t take us long to identify your Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae as
Compsocerus violaceus thanks to a photo posted on the FlickR Museum of Life webpage.  We verified that ID on TrekNature as well as on the Worldwide Cerambycidae Photo Gallery.

Correction:  December 14, 2016
Thanks to a correction from Cerambycid expert Doug Yanega, we now know that this is a member of the genus
Unxia, which is pictured on Cerabycidae Catalog Search.

Letter 6 – Longhorned Borer from Oregon might be Neoclytus conjunctus

 

Longhorned Borer Beetle
Longhorned Borer Beetle

Subject: Borers in Oregon
Location: Josephine Co., Oregon
October 19, 2014 5:39 pm
We were splitting Madrone firewood today (10/19/14), and it was full of borers of some kind. There were two varieties. The black & green variety was the most common (probably 90%), but there were also some of the red and black. We’re interested in learning more about them, particularly whether they’re a threat to our woods.
Signature: Jim

Dear Jim,
We believe your Longhorned Borer might be
Neoclytus conjunctus, which is a native species found along the western portion of North America according to BugGuide.  Alas, BugGuide does not offer any specific information on the species.  We suspect it is not a cause for concern as it is a native species.  Your red and black beetle belongs to a different family and we will research its identity later.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Rustic Borer, we believe

 

Georgia bug identity? Location: Savannah, Georgia August 14, 2011 6:10 pm My cousin photographed this bug a few days ago. We would love to know what he/she is. It’s a pretty bug! Signature: Jennifer
Rustic Borer, perhaps
Hi Jennifer, We believe, based on this photo posted to BugGuide, that your beetle is a Rustic Borer, Xylotrechus colonus.  According to Bugguide:  “Larvae feed under the bark (occasionally in the bark) of hickory and other hardwoods, also pine.”

Letter 2 – Unknown Longicorn from Brazil: Has anyone heard from Karl???

 

Amazing Beatle Location: Brasília, DF – Brazil October 16, 2011 1:10 pm Hi there First of all, congratulations on this website. The idea of helping people to identify these beautiful animals is phenomenal. About the picture I submitted, I parked my car at the airport for some minutes and when I came back there was this amazing beatle (?) sitting on the hood. It was about 5.5 cm long and had these long antennae. It drew my attention not only for its size but also because it was sporting these yellow shoes. While I was driving home, it kept stuck to the car despite the wind pressure, which made me think about how strong it was. Any ideas about this bug? All the best from Brazil. Signature: Gustavo
Unknown Longicorn from Brazil
Good Evening Gustavo, We haven’t had much luck identifying your gorgeous Longicorn by species.  This stunning beetle is in the Longhorned Borer Beetle family Cerambycidae.  The larvae are the wood borers.  Entomophiles with a certain hipness factor (among other entomophiles at least) call these beetles Bycids for short.  We miss Karl.  He always took on challenges such as these and he provided difficult identifications with links as support documents. Unknown Longicorn from Brazil Hi Daniel and Gustavo: I believe your lovely Cerambycid is Dorcadocerus barbatus (Cerambycinae : Trachyderini). I found one online photo of what appears to be the same species, but tagged as D. barbicornis. However, I think this is probably a misnomer as I can find only one species listed for the genus (i.e., D. barbatus). Its range extends from Mexico to Argentina. Although not quite visible in your photo, the species appears to have a very curious, brush-like face. Regards. Karl Hi Karl, Thanks so much for providing this identification.  Though we are thrilled with the identification, we are even more thrilled to hear from you again after what seems like an interminable hiatus.  We hope all is well and that you will be visiting us more often in the future.  

Letter 3 – Unknown Longicorn from Africa

 

Cerambycid in Africa Location: Kenya, Africa October 17, 2011 10:25 am My friend is conducting research in Africa (Kenya) and sent this Cerambycid photo to me. Any idea? Thanks so much! Signature: Cera
African Longicorn
Hi Cera, We do not recognize this lovely Longicorn species.  We will post it as unidentified in the hope that in the future we may get an answer.  Those furry front feet are probably a good diagnostic feature. Update:  Karl does some research October 28, 2011 Hi Daniel and Cera: I think you are correct Daniel in suggesting that the furry front feet may be diagnostic, and I therefore believe that the genus is probably Lasiopezus (Cerambycidae: Lamiinae:  Ancylonotini). My first thought was that it might be L. sordidus, but that species is apparently restricted to West Africa.  I was not able to locate images of all the half dozen or so species that do occur in Kenya but of the ones I was able to find L. nigromaculatus appears to be the closest match. That said, it doesn’t look quite right, mostly because the color of the mottling seems more brown than black and the overall effect is less contrasting. I like the genus but I suspect the species is one for which I was unable to locate an online image. Regards. Karl Thanks for all the links Karl.  

Letter 4 – Unknown Longicorn from Australia

 

Longhorm Weevil? Location: South-East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia November 12, 2011 8:56 pm Dear BugTeam, Thank you for such a wonderful site: I often spend hours browsing all the different insects from around the world. 🙂 I was wondering if you would be able to help me identify this beetle I found on my washing this (mild November) morning. It looks like a weevil, but the antennae have me stumped: I’ve never seen a weevil with such long, furry antennae before. Many thanks for your help, Signature: Jen
Longicorn
Dear Jen, This is some species of Longicorn or Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae.  It appears to be posing on a fingertip, which would imply that it is quite small.  We are having trouble finding a species identification.  Your mention of the furry antennae is noteworthy.  Though tufted antennae are not rare among Longicorns, they are often a distinguishing feature.  We could not find an exact match on the Brisbane Insect website, however, there is one example identified as belonging to the genus Pentacosmia that looks similar to your beetle.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist us in this identification.
Unknown Longicorn
 

Letter 5 – Unknown Striped Longicorn from Australia may be Rhytiphora macleayi

 

Striped Beetle?? Location: North-East Goldfields, Western Australia January 24, 2012 6:15 pm Hi, I’m currently working in the Goldfields of Western Australia. This is on a new mine development in a very remote location to the north east of the city of Kalgoorlie. I found this interesting specimen. I think its a beetle and a rather attractive one with its strips. Its currently summer time here, but we have had a fair bit of rain. Hope you can help me identify it! Signature: Josh
possibly Rhytiphora macleayi from Australia
Dear Josh, This strikingly beautiful beetle is a member of the family Cerambycidae, commonly called Longhorns, Longicorns or Bycids.  Our initial search has not turned up a conclusive species identification.  Insects from the more populous eastern parts of Australia are more available on the internet.  We continued to search after posting and stumbled upon the Silver Striped Beetle, Rhytiphora dallasi, on the Shell Picture Card website which states:  “Card data: “This is another magnificent Longicorn – a native of Western Australia. It measures about 1 1/2 inches in length and has a distinctive silvery white body adorned with black lines. This beetle is only found during the warm months. Its grubs are borers in native timbers. Family: Cerambycidae. ” Comments: Nothing appears to have been written on the biology of this species since publication of the Shell Picture Card series.”  The Antennae of the specimen on Csiro  or the pair on the Worldwide Cerambycidae PHoto Gallery don’t seem to match as they are not striped like your individual.  The related Rhytiphora macleayi from the Agriculture of Western Australia website seems a better match.

Letter 6 – Unknown Longicorn from South Africa is Sombre Twig Pruner

 

Cape Town, South Africa; Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden February 11, 2012 1:58 pm I spotted this beastie outside my office, and we have established it is most likely to be a Flat-faced Longhorn (Lamiinae), however I have not been able to pin it down closer than that. Can you perhaps assist? Date was 8th February 2012 Signature: Gigi
Sombre Twig Pruner
Hi Gigi, We are not doing too well with South African submissions today.  This is sure an amazing looking Longicorn or Bycid, a nickname employed by coleopterists for members of the family Cerambycidae.  It really has unusual antennae.  We suspect this is a male and that those antennae help him sniff out the pheromones of nearby females. 
Sombre Twig Pruner
We are posting your wonderful photos and noting that it is still unidentified.  We are not totally certain that the subfamily Laminae is correct.  Perhaps Karl is online today and can come to our rescue.
Sombre Twig Pruner
Karl researches the identity of the Sombre Twig Pruner Hi Daniel and Gigi: Given the number of unique and striking features, this longicorn turned out to be surprisingly difficult to find. I believe it is probably a Sombre Twig Pruner (Cloniocerus kraussi or C. kraussii). Here is another link. I also found it under the synonym Thercladodes kraussi, which may be the currently accepted name. Page 144 in “Forest entomology in East Africa: Forest Insects of Tanzania” (Hans G. Schabel 2006) provides some good life history information and the following detailed description: “The beetle is a fairly hairy, funereal black, except for broad patches of buff on each side of the thorax and a wide band of the same hue, speckled with red, across the distal portion of the elytra. The thorax bears four conical projections. Most remarkable are the tip-curled antennae, which consist of segments of varied lengths. The third segment bears a conspicuous plume-like bunch of hairs. The anterior part of the elytra is marked by tufted humps, and there are also numerous tufts in the posterior portion.”  The species is reported to occur in South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Zambia, Madagascar and the Usambara Mountains of Tanzania (I suspect that this list is incomplete). There are at least six other species in the genus Cloniocerus (not sure about Thercladodes ) for which I could find no information so I suppose it could also be one of those, but C./T. kraussi looks very close. And yes, subfamily Laminae is correct. Regards.  Karl    

Letter 7 – Purplescent Longhorn

 

Subject: Some kind of beetle??? Location: Carolina, WV May 31, 2012 11:35 pm My daughter and I found this handsome bug outside of our home last week, 5/23/12, in Carolina, WV. She is very fond of discovering things and learning about the beautiful world around us. I try to take that curiosity and make it a learning experience for use both. I took some pictures of various insects and plants and then tried to identify them online. Unfortunately I have been unsuccessful in discovering anything on this little guy. I would appreciate your help. Signature: Bobbi Jean I continued searching your site, and I believe I found it! Could this possibly be Purpuricenus humarils? I understand if you dont get the chance to reply.  I loved looking at all the pics and comments during my search.  Thanks bunches!
Purplescent Longhorn
Hi Bobbi Jean, We are happy to hear that you were able to self identify your Purplescent Longhorn, Purpuricenus humeralis, by searching our labyrinthine archives.  This is really a very beautiful beetle.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae mine in dead branches of numerous hardwoods.” 

Letter 8 – Milkweed Longhorns

 

Subject: Red bug with black dots? Location: Indiana June 2, 2012 6:25 pm Hello! I was walking my dog today and I seen these strange little bugs on a leaf on the corner of the street. Signature: Kaylee
Milkweed Longhorns
Hi Kaylee, These are Milkweed Longhorns or Red Milkweed Beetles in the genus Tetraopes, a group of beetles in the Longhorned Borer family Cerambycidae.  Milkweed Longhorns are found on milkweed and they feed on the leaves as adults and the larvae bore in the roots of milkweed.   The adults squeak when handled.  More information can be found on BugGuide.  We are postdating your submission to go live during our holiday later in the month.

Letter 9 – Unknown Mount Washington Bycid

 

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

Letter 10 – Pole Borer in Mount Washington

 

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
     

Letter 11 – Unknown Bycid in Mount Washington may be Paranoplium gracile

 

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 Daniel: My guess (and it is just that) for the Mt. Washington longhorn would be Paranoplium gracile: http://bugguide.net/node/view/429497 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. Eric 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.  

Authors

  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

    View all posts
  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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Tags: Longhorn Beetles

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14 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Daniel and Karl, thanks very much for taking the time to identify this beetle. I was so impressed that you’ve pulled it through! Based on the photos linked by Karl, I can affirm 100% it was a Dorcadocerus barbatus. Thx, mates.

    Reply
    • Hi Gustavo,
      We just realized that we never responded to your comment nor was it approved. sorry for the oversight.

      Reply
  • They look like the Longhorns that are in our paperweights..

    Reply
  • Your striped longicorn beetle is indeed Rhytiphora macleayi which is easily distinguised from R. dallasi by the presence of the yellow coloration over most of the beetle (R. dallasi is purely black and white). The silvery appearance of both species is due to the fine, closely packed white hairs that form the stripes. R. macleayi is not a commonly encountered species, with less than 20 specimens known among the major museums and institutions in Australia. Interestingly almost all of these specimens were taken around Kookynie, North of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, however there is at least one specimen that was collected North-East of Alice Springs, over 1600km away! Most of the Rhytiphora genus feed on Acacias as larvae and a species as large as R. macleayi would most likely feed on Acacia aenura (commonly known as mulga) or similar species.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for the confirmation Mark, and for the informative comment as well. It is greatly appreciated.

      Reply
  • Pedro Alvaro
    March 25, 2013 9:21 am

    Hi! I was comparing Mariana’s photo with the photo of the Worldwide Cerambycidae Photo Gallery, and it seems that these beetles are pretty different, the beetle of the Worldwide Cerambycidae Photo Gallery has the “hair” in the 6th segment of the antennae, and the beetle of Mariana’s photo has these hair in the 5th segment of the antennae, the Mariana’s beetle has “drop like” legs, not a constant shape like the Worldwide Cerambycidae Photo Gallery’s beetle. Can it be a dimorfism between male/female? Or another species?

    Reply
  • Here I made a list of similar genera, but it’s still hard.
    http://www.insetologia.com.br/2014/06/besouro-longicornio-em-santa-catarina.html

    Reply
  • I’m a cerambycid expert. This one is not a Compsocerus; most likely in the genus Unxia.

    Reply
  • Allen Sundholm
    March 9, 2017 7:27 pm

    Hi Josh, I Mark’s ID is 100% correct. Well done Mark. As many of the known specimens were collected around Kookynie, I suspect they were collected there by Horatio (‘Horrie’) W. Brown in the 1920’s – 1930’s. Note that while the 1st Volume of CSIRO’s ‘Longhorns of Australia’ treats this species as a synonym of Rhytiphora browni, that follows an earlier synonmy. Rhytiphora macleayi (one large spine on each elytron, yellow between two widely-separated outer costae in both sexes) is a distinct species from Rhytiphora dallasi (all white, one small apical spine on each elytron) and Rhytiphora browni (two apical spines on each elytron) and should regain its specific status when the revision of Rhytiphora that is currently being undertaken by an ANIC staff memberin CSIRO is published.

    Reply
  • G’day Jen,
    Looks similar to a beetle found in Tasmania, have a gander at “Pentacosima scoparia” on this website: https://sites.google.com/site/insectsoftaschrysomeloidea/suborder-polyphaga/cerambycidae-longicorn-beetles/Pentacosmia-scoparia.

    Reply
  • G’day Jen,
    Looks similar to a beetle found in Tasmania, have a gander at “Pentacosima scoparia” on this website: https://sites.google.com/site/insectsoftaschrysomeloidea/suborder-polyphaga/cerambycidae-longicorn-beetles/Pentacosmia-scoparia.

    Reply

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