September 8, 2010
Today while walking to the film lab between Union Station and Temple Street, Daniel noticed this Stout’s Hardwood Borer on a telephone pole. He brought it our Mt Washington offices to photograph it because it is a very underrepresented species on our website. We got that common name from Charles Hogue’s Insects of the Los Angeles Basin, but BugGuide refers to it as the Black Polycaon and has very little information about it. Hogue on the other hand writes extensively about the Stout’s Hardwood Borer. Hogue writes that they “appear in the fall (September) in unlikely places, such as in the hallways and rooms of new buildings, in warehouses, and in homes. Their occurrence is explained by their breeding habits. The larvae are wood borers that feed within various hardwoods such as oak, California Laurel, alder, maple, and eucalyptus — construction oods that are often used in building boxes, shipping crates, storage racks, and the slats used behind scoustic ceiling tiles; the larvae will also infest finished wood products such as cupboards, cabinets, and furniture. The adult Stout’s beetles may emerge from these products after the construction is completed and even after the product has been finished. … There is no evidence that the species reinfests lumber or manufactured wood products once the adults have emerged from them.” Daniel can’t help but wonder though if the telephone pole in downtown Los Angeles was a likely breeding ground for the species.
This specimen is missing its left rear leg.