Sugar Maple Borer

Subject: Identification help please!
Location: Raymond NH
July 23, 2016 6:58 am
Hi, I was in my yard last night and this interesting beetle landed beside me.
I was wondering if you might have an idea as to who my visitor was!
Signature: Courtney

Maple Sugar Borer
Sugar Maple Borer

Dear Courtney,
Along with its relative the Banded Alder Borer, we find the Sugar Maple Borer,
Glycobius speciosus, to be one of North America’s most beautiful native beetles.  BugGuide notes:  “Larvae mine under bark of living Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum” and that the species is “rare” which probably explains the scarcity of submissions of this gorgeous beetle to our site.  According to the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area site:  “The sugar maple borer, Glycobius speciosus (Say), a long-horned wood boring beetle, is a common pest of sugar maple (the only known host) throughout the range of the tree. Although borer-caused mortality is rare, infestations lead to value loss through lumber defect caused by larval galleries, discoloration, decay, and twisted grain.”  According to the Cornell Sugar Maple Research& Extension Program:  “Damage by the sugar maple borer (Glycobius speciosus) varies among forest types and stands within a type. Infestation rates, the proportion of damages stems per acre or hectare, range from less than 5 to nearly 50 percent. Sugar maples in all stands are susceptible, but the incidence of damage is highest in stands with high proportion of sugar maple. Rarely does sugar maple borer kill a tree, but it directly affects the main part of the stem, sometimes reducing the available space for tapping. Borer attack is most prevalent on trees of low vigor.”  While this is just our opinion, in reading that information and the information contained in the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation pdf, we conclude that because the Sugar Maple Borer is rare, it is not a threat to the general population of Sugar Maple trees, but that the beetle does take advantage of already stressed trees, and in doing so, the general health of the Sugar Maple population is ensured.

Thank you so much for your reply! I love your site and use it all the time when I have a new bug friend in my life.
Again, thank you for your continued services!
– Courtney

2 thoughts on “Sugar Maple Borer”

  1. Very interesting indeed . Thank you for providing such a neat and needed service . I really appreciate the response time and was a great read to wake up to . I will have to look more closely at the sugar maple on my next hike around the mountain to see about damage . Considering the rarity I’m hoping it is minimal. Not too far away from the site my beetle was spotted is a parcel of land that was donated by two brothers as a green space in Nova Scotia. It was their fathers maple syrup range and after his passing decided it was best to designate it as such to the province . It is a very interesting story I would encourage people to hear about , and was a part of a Global News segment less than two weeks ago. Thank you everybody for your dedication to this site and the work that has been put into it .


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