Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 2:05 PM
A friend found this in her backyard this morning and I went over to evacuate it. It hisses a little and has an earthy oder to it. What kind of beetle is it?
Your friend’s beetle is a Palo Verde Root Borer, Derobrachus hovorei. BugGuide has this information to explain the taxonomy change to the scientific name: “Synonyms and other taxonomic changes This common and widely distributed species has been called “Derobrachus geminatus”, but examination of type specimens revealed that the true geminatus refers to a much less common species we have called “Derobrachus forreri” (Santos-Silva, 2007, Arquivos de Zoologia, 38:1-94). Rules of nomenclature require that the name geminatus be applied to the less common species (with forreri as a synonym), leaving the common species without a name. Derobrachus hovorei is the new name given to this species, which can be distinguished from true D. geminatus (formerly D. forreri) by its more weakly striolate antennae.
Ted MacRae ” Though the Palo Verde Root Borer is not dangerous to humans, the adult beetle has very strong mandibles for chewing its way out of it pupal chamber in the woody palo verde tree. Those mandibles can also give a painful pinch if the beetle is carelessly handled.