Currently viewing the tag: "Invasive Exotics"

What is this?
I am finding these in my garage. The only place I can think that they are coming from is some fire wood I have stacked in there from over the winter. I didn’t really use the wood stove all that much and most of the wood is still there that I put there at the start of last summer (2004). If these are coming from the wood why did they not come out last summer?

Hi Steve,
We contacted Eric Eaton to share his thoughts on your Borer Beetle. Here is his response: “Decent image of what might be the Tanbark Borer, Phymatodes testaceous. Certainly something in that genus. The tanbark borer is supposedly common in eastern North America, but is also found in Europe and northern Africa! Adults vary from 8-17 mm. Larvae bore in the wood of dead and dying hardwoods, and also pine.”

Can you help identify?
Hi there, I have recently moved from the UK to central Boston and have found several of these flying insects in my city center apartment. Their bodies are generally 0.5 to 0.75 inches long. I am unsure if they are attracted by light or not. Thanks in advance
Mike Hume

Hi Mike,
We wrote to Eric Eaton to properly identify your beetle. He wrote back: “Ok, the beetle is the “Wharf Borer,” Nacerdes melanura. It is in the
family Oedemeridae, the False Blister Beetles.” Adults are usually found on flowers or foilage near water and the larvae live in decaying wood. It is common in woodsheds, cellars and lumberyards. Originally European, it has been spread around the world due to commerce.

Please help!
Yesterday, my four year old entomologist found this outstanding bug at a wildlife rescue place. It is near farmlands (strawberries, squashes, etc). I have had one person help identify it as a snout beetle or weevil, but could you help be more specific so we can learn more about it? Thank you! Joanna

Hi Joanna,
Needless to say, we are very intrigued by your insect, a Weevil or Snout Beetle from the largest insect Family Curculionidae. We are not familiar with your species and one expert we questioned even suggested the possibility your images were Photoshop™ enhanced, a theory we quickly dismissed. We did some web research and found a tribe of Weevils known as Leptopiinae, the Painted Weevils, including the genuses Gymnopholus and Eupholus which are described as “very handsome and metallic blue, green or reddish”. They are found in New Guinea and Indonesia. That is the best we can do at the moment, but we would love to know where your Weevil was found and perhaps we can learn something more concrete.

We are more than excited as well–I was about to nix him and glue him to a card to start Max’s bug collection, but I think we’ll wait! We are in Miami, Florida, USA. This is so exciting–I wasn’t too impressed with Max’s finds up until now (they mostly consisted of cockroaches-EW!), but this has definitely peaked my interest! We wrote to one guy and sent the same pictures–he wrote back and offered to trade a bug book in exchange for our weevil. We’ve decided to hold onto him for a bit. We would like to keep him alive, though, but if we can’t, do you have suggestions for preserving him? We “carded” a practice beetle with a little elmer’s glue and his body color and shape seems to be good. Is this sufficient? I am quite anxious to hear more! Feel free to call: 305-251-9091. Thank you!

Ed. Note: Eric Eaton passes on the following advice on dealing with Exotic specimes:
Dear Friends:
Daniel Marlos of “What’s that bug?” was kind enough to pass along your e-mail that accompanied the photo.I am personally unfamiliar with this insect, and wonder if it might not be an exotic species. If that is the case, someone in the U.S.D.A. (Department of Agriculture) needs to see the thing. Urestricted “free trade” is leading to many more accidental importations of pest insects. The authorities need our help in documenting newly-arrived species so as to thwart outbreaks. Please consider contacting an official soon, while the insect is still alive. Thank you.
Eric R. Eaton

Spoke to a guy at the USDA this morning and we’re going to drop him off this afternoon. He *thinks* he has collected this species before, but either way, it’s so newly established here that they need to document its existence here, so they’ll send our guy off the Gainesville for positive identification and then HOPEFULLY, Max will get him back. Cross your fingers and I’ll let you know what they think he is! Thank you for all of your help!
P.S. Just so you know….the guy still couldn’t identify it, but he recalls having caught one of these himself a number of years ago. He’s sending it to Gainesville, Florida for cataloguing, but promises that we’ll get it back. (Let’s hope!)

Please keep us posted as to the latest developments in this continuing melodrama Joanna. Sadly, What’s That Bug? is currently down due to heavy traffic, but we will return to the web in May and we want to continue to follow your saga.

Thank you so much for all of your help! Another entomologist I have contacted thinks it may be Eurhinus magnificus, but it has been sent to Gainesville to make sure and to catalogue him. I am assured that he will be returned to me in about a week to become the crown jewel in my son’s bug collection. We will however, be on the outlook for more and any subsequent ones I’d be happy to send to you! Thanks to Eric Eaton as well for putting us in touch with the proper authorities (i.e. USDA)–please pass along my appreciation (and the identification).

Hi Joanna,
This surely is interesting. I checked on Eurhinus magnificus and it is from Costa Rica, but no images. It sounds like you might be on your way to becoming an entomologist as well as Max.

Update: 17 June 2009, 7:27 AM
In trying to identify an unusual Weevil from Costa Rica today, we stumbled upon this great link with the life cycle of Eurhinus magnificus.

Hey Bugman,
I tried accessing your site but it was down due to too much traffic. Congratulations, I guess!! 🙂 Anyway, yesterday I noticed about 5-6 really large bees hovering outside my screened porch in Birmingham, AL. They weren’t digging in the wood, just walking all over the screen, like they were trying to nest there. Today, there must have been 2-3 dozen of them. I sprayed them repeatedly, many died, but most came back for more.
Needless to say, we were totally icked out and want these large things gone if possible. Can you tell us who this is that has invaded our home. I’ve attached a picture that shows three of them after they’ve been nuked and out in the sun for some time. What are these scary invaders? Thanks for your help and your great insight and web site.
Ben Fineburg

Dear Ben Fineburg,
Yes, we are down due to heavy traffic, thanks in part to the USA Today Hot Site selection on 7 June. We have just paid for an upgrade and expect to be back up within 24 hours. Your bees look similar, but slenderer than our California Carpenter Bees. It is possible that a female dug a burrow and her brood has recently emerged. Young bees will rest awhile before taking flight. Carpenter Bees can cause considerable damage to wood, but they generally are not aggressive and are reluctant to sting. They are solitary bees, meaning they do not form a hive proper. A female will excavate a burrow in the wood and lay several dozen eggs. Like I said, your specimens look slender, but they could be Xylocopa virginica or a close relative.

Correction courtesy of John Ascher
April 22, 2012
This post is of Megachile sculpturalis not carpenter bees!