White Spotted Sawyer Beetle: Comprehensive Quick Guide

The white-spotted sawyer beetle is a fascinating native species found throughout the Northeast, as well as the Northwest to Alaska. They are known for their wood-boring abilities and distinctive appearance. These beetles are often mistaken for the invasive Asian longhorned beetle but have some key differences that set them apart.

For starters, the white-spotted sawyer beetle is usually a bit smaller and duller in appearance compared to their invasive counterpart. They have a unique white spot between their head and the top of their wing covers, making them easier to identify. Additionally, these native beetles typically attack diseased and damaged pine trees, helping maintain forest health.

As you explore the world of the white-spotted sawyer beetle, you’ll discover interesting facts about their habitat, life cycle, and importance to our ecosystem. Keep in mind that understanding and protecting these native beetles can contribute to overall forest health and biodiversity.

Identification of White Spotted Sawyer Beetle

Physical Features

The White-Spotted Sawyer Beetle, also known as Monochamus scutellatus, belongs to the Cerambycidae family. Some distinctive features of this beetle are:

  • Shiny black body with rough texture
  • A key white spot at the base of their wing covers (Elytra)
  • Very long antennae, often longer than their body

Compared to Other Species

The White-Spotted Sawyer Beetle is often mistaken for the invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle. Here’s a comparison table to help you differentiate between the two:

Feature White-Spotted Sawyer Beetle Asian Longhorned Beetle
Size Smaller Larger (UMaine Extension)
Body Texture Rough, duller in appearance Shiny
White Spot(s) on Wing Covers One distinctive white spot About 20 white spots
Host Trees Softwood trees (UMaine Extension) Healthy hardwoods, especially maple

Male Vs Female

While both male and female White-Spotted Sawyer Beetles have very long antennae, there’s a difference in their antennae length:

  • Male’s antennae are longer than the female’s (US Forest Service)
  • Female’s antennae are shorter than the male’s

By considering the physical features, differences compared to other species, and the specific characteristics of male and female beetles, you can successfully identify a White Spotted Sawyer Beetle.

Habitats and Geography

Common Habitats

White spotted sawyer beetles are known for being wood-boring insects, primarily inhabiting forests with diverse conifers such as pine, spruce, and fir trees. They often target damaged or diseased trees, attracted to their weakened state. Conifer species you might find them around include:

  • White pine
  • Black spruce
  • Balsam fir
  • Jack pine
  • White spruce
  • Red spruce

These beetles are also drawn to the needles shed by these trees, so you can find them in spruce forests with an abundance of fallen needles.

Geographical Spread

Belonging to North America, the white spotted sawyer beetle’s geographical range is quite extensive. In the northeast, you can find them throughout the region, reaching as far as Alaska in the northwest. Their range extends throughout the North Central States, from the Atlantic coast, Minnesota, and all the way westward into Alaska, covering a variety of coniferous habitats.

In summary, their presence spans across the eastern and western regions of the U.S, as well as numerous parts of Canada. The white spotted sawyer beetle’s adaptability to different coniferous environments ensures their widespread distribution across North America.

Life Cycle

Egg to Larva

The life cycle of the white spotted sawyer beetle starts with the female laying her eggs under the bark of dead or dying conifer trees. As a result, you’ll find the larvae feeding on the tree’s wood.

These eggs hatch into larvae that will burrow deep into the wood in search of nutrients. Here are some characteristics of the larvae:

  • Creamy white in color
  • C-shaped body
  • Dark brown head capsule

It’s crucial to understand that these larvae will continue feeding and growing for 1-2 years before entering the pupa stage in their life cycle.

Larva to Adult

When the sawyer beetle larvae are fully grown and ready to transform into adults, they’ll form a pupa. This stage usually lasts for around 2-3 weeks, with numerous changes taking place:

  • Developing hardened exoskeleton
  • Formation of wing pads
  • Developing adult body structure

Once the adult white spotted sawyer beetle emerges from its pupa, it’s ready to reproduce and continue the life cycle. Adult sawyer beetles are black with a distinctive white spot between their wing covers. They also have long antennae, which is longer in males than in females.

Overall, understanding the life cycle of these beetles is crucial for both researchers and those who may encounter these insects in their daily life, especially in areas where conifer trees are prevalent.

Role in the Ecosystem

The white-spotted sawyer beetle plays a significant role in the ecosystem, often found in coniferous forests. Here, they help maintain the balance by primarily feeding on dead or dying trees, such as pines, spruce trees, or other coniferous hosts.

These beetles prefer recently dead trees, weakened or diseased wood, making them essential for the removal and decomposition of dying wood in the environment. By doing this, they contribute to nutrient cycling, freeing up valuable resources for new tree growth.

Not only do these beetles help keep forests healthy, but they also have distinctive features that set them apart, such as:

  • Long, often black antennae
  • Black wing covers with scattered white spots
  • Excellent wood-boring abilities

Additionally, they serve as a source of food for predators, helping further maintain the balance and biodiversity in their environment. By living in symbiosis with other insects, fungi, and microorganisms, they facilitate the breaking down of organic matter and enrich the soil.

By getting a better understanding of the white-spotted sawyer beetle, you can appreciate their role in the ecosystem and the importance they hold for maintaining the health of coniferous forests. So the next time you’re in a pine forest, keep an eye out for these fascinating beetles, and remember the many benefits they provide to their environment.

Diet and Feeding Habits

The white-spotted sawyer beetle primarily feeds on wood. Their diet focuses on dead or dying trees such as pine, spruce, and fir trees. They can be beneficial insects, as they help decompose dead wood, returning nutrients to the ecosystem.

When it comes to feeding, adult sawyer beetles chew on the bark of dead or dying trees. They can also be found on logs and stumps. In contrast, the larvae, called woodboring grubs, feed on the nutrient-rich inner layer of the trees, just beneath the bark. This feeding habit helps them grow and develop.

As you observe these beetles, you might notice distinct feeding patterns. For instance, they create oval-shaped holes in tree bark. If you examine these holes closely, you’ll realize they are entry points for the larvae or exit points for adult beetles. This info can help you identify their presence and take action if necessary.

Overall, your understanding of the white-spotted sawyer beetle’s diet and feeding habits play a crucial role in managing their presence in forests and wooded areas. Remember to keep an eye out for their unique feeding signs, as it’s a helpful indicator when dealing with them in their natural habitat.

Interaction with Humans

Relationship to Lumber Industry

The white-spotted sawyer beetle (Monochamus scutellatus) is a native species found in the Northeast and the Northwest of the US, including Alaska. As a wood-boring insect, it can sometimes have an impact on the lumber industry. The beetle attacks diseased and damaged pine trees, which may lead to some concerns for lumber production. However, they generally don’t pose a significant threat to healthy trees.

As Pests

Although the white-spotted sawyer beetle is not usually considered a serious pest, infestations can occasionally occur, especially in areas with a high presence of damaged or diseased pine trees. During an infestation, the beetles may cause structural damage to the lumber used in homes and other wooden structures. Signs of infestation include:

  • Exit holes in the wood
  • Long, winding tunnels under the tree bark
  • Presence of frass (a mixture of wood shavings and beetle feces)

If you suspect an infestation, it is important to take appropriate action, such as contacting a pest control professional.

Harmless Interaction

Despite their potential impact on the lumber industry, white-spotted sawyer beetles are generally harmless to humans. These shiny black beetles with white elytra spots and long antennae are often seen on their own or in pairs. They do not bite or sting, and their larvae do not typically cause damage to healthy trees.

In fact, the white-spotted sawyer beetle plays a role in the ecosystem by helping with the decomposition of dead or dying trees, thus aiding in nutrient recycling.

In summary, interactions between humans and white-spotted sawyer beetles are mostly harmless, with potential concerns mainly arising from their impact on the lumber industry and damaged trees.

Conservation and Threats

Conservation Status

The white spotted sawyer beetle is a native species of wood-boring insect found throughout the Northeast, Northwest, and Alaska 1. They are not currently considered a major conservation concern since they predominantly target diseased and damaged pine trees for reproduction 2. In this way, you can view them as part of the natural ecosystem management process, as they help break down weakened trees and pave the way for healthier forest growth.

Threats

Compared to the invasive Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), the white spotted sawyer beetle is less of a threat to healthy trees 3. However, ALB poses a significant threat to the ecosystem since it attacks and kills healthy hardwoods, especially maple trees 4. Here are some key differences between the two beetles:

  • White spotted sawyer beetle: Targets diseased and damaged pine trees, has a single distinctive white spot, usually dull in appearance 5
  • ALB: Attacks healthy hardwoods, has about 20 white spots on each wing cover, body is shiny and black 6
Feature White Spotted Sawyer Beetle Invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle
Target Trees Diseased & damaged pine trees Healthy hardwoods
Spots Single distinctive white spot About 20 white spots on each wing cover
Appearance Dull Shiny and black

Although the white spotted sawyer beetle itself is not considered a major pest, it can still cause some harm to already weakened trees. Furthermore, their presence could be mistaken for that of ALB, which can have serious consequences if not identified and addressed correctly. It’s essential to monitor and control the spread of these insects to maintain a healthy ecosystem.

Some natural predators of the white spotted sawyer beetle include birds and small mammals. These predators can help in controlling their populations and limiting any potential damage in the forests 7.

Taxonomy and Classification

The white-spotted sawyer beetle, scientifically known as Monochamus scutellatus, belongs to the kingdom Animalia, phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, and order Coleoptera. It is a member of the Cerambycidae family and the genus Monochamus.

This beetle is a native species found throughout the Northeast, Northwest, and Alaska. It is often confused with the invasive Asian longhorned beetle due to their similar appearance. However, there are some key differences between the two beetles:

Feature White-Spotted Sawyer Beetle Asian Longhorned Beetle
Size Slightly smaller Larger
Appearance Duller and less shiny with a distinctive white spot between the elytra Shiny black with approximately 20 white spots on each wing cover
Host trees Attacks diseased and damaged pine trees Attacks healthy hardwoods, especially maple

In your article about the white-spotted sawyer beetle, you can mention these characteristics:

  • Distinctive white spot between the elytra
  • Black or dark color with dull appearance
  • Long antennae, often longer than their body
  • Male’s antennae are longer than the female’s
  • Native to the Northeast, Northwest, and Alaska

Keep in mind that it’s important not to confuse the white-spotted sawyer beetle with the Asian longhorned beetle, as their impacts on trees and ecosystems are different. This knowledge will help your readers better understand the taxonomy and classification of this fascinating insect.

Additional Information

The white-spotted sawyer beetle is a native species of wood-boring insect that can be found across Northeastern United States, Northwestern areas, and even up to Alaska. They thrive on diseased and damaged pine trees1, making them a potential concern for tree health. Here are some interesting features and characteristics you should know.

When observing a white-spotted sawyer beetle, you might see a white spot between their elytra, or wing covers, at the base2. Your adult sawyer beetle would typically have a shiny black body, with males and females having slight differences in size and antennae length3.

Compare the different types of sawyers to help identify them:

Features White-Spotted Sawyer Spruce Sawyer
Size of adults Similar in size Similar in size
Body color Shiny black Shiny black
White markings on elytra Single distinctive white spot Scattered tufts of white hairs
Antennae length (male/female) Long (longer in males) Long (longer in males)
Type of trees they attack Coniferous trees (damaged) Coniferous trees (damaged)

Don’t confuse the white-spotted sawyer beetle with the invasive Asian longhorned beetle, which attacks healthy hardwoods and has multiple white spots on their wing covers4. Some key differentiators include the ALB’s preference for hardwood trees and their additional white markings.

So, now you have a brief overview of the white-spotted sawyer beetle and an understanding of its features and how it resembles and differs from other similar beetles. Keep this knowledge handy in case you come across this fascinating insect in your surroundings.

Footnotes

  1. https://florence.extension.wisc.edu/white-spotted-sawyer-beetle/ 2

  2. https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/92341.html 2

  3. https://extension.umaine.edu/home-and-garden-ipm/fact-sheets/common-name-listing/sawyer-beetles/ 2

  4. Ibid. 2

  5. https://florence.extension.wisc.edu/white-spotted-sawyer-beetle/

  6. https://extension.umaine.edu/home-and-garden-ipm/fact-sheets/common-name-listing/sawyer-beetles/

  7. https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5187547.pdf

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 – Northeastern Pine Sawyer with Phoretic Mites

 

Subject: New to me
Location: Roanoke, VA
May 14, 2017 12:57 pm
Greetings. You have featured my shots 3 times I think. Cicada emerges, wheel bug, and a golden orb weaver. I love learning about all critters! I have not run into a new to me invertebrate in a few years. We recently moved and have some acreage. This guy showed up on the porch. He’s about the size of an eyed elater. He has pretty beefy jaws. What am I looking at here?
thank you!
Signature: neanderpaul

Northeastern Pine Sawyer with Phoretic Mites

Hi again Neanderpaul,
This is the first letter we have responded to that arrived since Daniel’s five-day hospitalization with pneumonia, resulting in WTB? going dark for a week.  Your images are amazing, and that headshot is a perfect illustration on why members of the Longhorned Borer Beetle subfamily Laminae are known as Flat-Faced Longhorns.  This is a Northeastern Pine Sawyer,
Monochamus notatus, which we verified with this BugGuide image.  If you look closely at that headshot, you will see some Phoretic Mites that are hitching a ride as they lack wings, and the Sawyer provides a means of locomotion.  This BugGuide series of images illustrates the same interspecies relationship.

Northeastern Pine Sawyer
Howdy,
Awesome! After some clues I thought I had a white spotted sawyer beetle. Northwestern pine sawyer it is. Thanks so much for the wealth of knowledge! I love all critters. Especially invertebrates!
Prayers offered for Daniel. Thanks for this great service you all provide.
NeanderPaul
Northeastern Pine Sawyer

Letter 2 – Capricorn Beetle from France

 

Whats that bug
Location: Arcachon, Cote d’Argent, France
July 2, 2011 5:11 am
Found on a beach at Cote d’Argent, South west of Bordeaux, France and possibly more significantly near one of Europe’s biggest pine forest
Signature: Eric cookney

Capricorn from France

Hi Eric,
This is a member of the genus
Monochamus, and in North America, they are called Pine Sawyers.  The larvae are wood borers in pine trees, generally in trees that are damaged by fire, storm or disease.  We are having trouble determining the species.  We believe it may be a male Monochamus sartor, which is pictured on Wikimedia, or perhaps Monochamus galloprovincialis which may be found on the waldwissen website.

Correction Courtesy of Mardikavana
This isn’t monochamus. This is some kind of Cerambyx. Maybe Cerambyx velutinus or cerambyx cerdo if you were really lucky.

Ed. NOte: Here is a photo of Cerambyx cerdo from NaturePHoto for comparison.

Letter 3 – Black Pine Sawyer from Poland

 

Subject:  Cerambycidae, but which one
Geographic location of the bug:  Europe/Poland
Date: 06/14/2018
Time: 03:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
I am trying to identify this one, without luck.
Please help ! 🙂
How you want your letter signed:  Piotr Podermanski

Longicorn is Black Pine Sawyer

Got it, it’s  Monochamus galloprovincialis.

Dear Piotr,
We are happy you were able to identify your Black Pine Sawyer, which is the common name used on iNaturalist where it states:  “The Pine sawyer beetle (
Monochamus galloprovincialis), also referred to as the Black pine sawyer beetle, is a species of beetle in the family Cerambycidae. It was described by Olivier in 1795, originally under the genus Cerambyx. It has a wide distribution, occurring naturally throughout Europe and the Caucasus. It has also been introduced into the Canary Islands.”

Letter 4 – Bycid might be Spotted Pine Sawyer

 

Subject: Bug Picture from Oregon
Location: Oregon
August 4, 2014 10:17 pm
Dear bugman,
I love your site! A couple years ago I saw a very strange bug and sent it into this site, and got a response almost immediately (it was a dragonfly naiad), thanks!
I only have one picture of this bug. It was taken in Oregon, if that helps.
Signature: Nathaniel Clucas

Possibly Spotted Pine Sawyer
Possibly Spotted Pine Sawyer

Hi Nathaniel,
This is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae, and there isn’t enough detail in your image to be certain, but it appears it might be a Spotted Pine Sawyer,
Monochamus clamator.  You can compare your individual to the images posted to BugGuide.

This is amazing thank you so much for your prompt response. You guys are truly amazing!
-Natty

Letter 5 – Ergates Pine Sawyer

 

Longicorn ??
hi just curious what genus and species of longicorn beetle this was, ur site has been very interesting and helpful so any help would be greatly appreciated .
yours greatfully
wayno the bugman

Hi Wayne,
By the looks of things, it appears you might be beginning a collection. This beautiful specimen is one of the Ergates Pine Sawyers. The larva eat the sapwood and heartwood of pines and Douglas firs usually feeding in fallen logs, stumps and telephone poles. According to Hogue, Ergates spiculatus is the largest local beetle in Los Angeles.

Letter 6 – Ergates Sawyer

 

Is Dan around? I have a new bug. This thing is about 1.25 to 1.5 inches long, not including antennae. Actual size, on my computer. I bought another little digital camera. It takes crappy up-close photos, apparently. 🙁
chris

Hi Chris,
You have one of the Borer Beetles, Family Cerambycidae. My best guess is a Western Pine Sawyer, Ergates spiculatus. Males have longer antennae. The dark head and prothorax and the lighter elytra or wing covers are a good indication of the species. Your specimen is small. Large males will reach 2 1/4 inches. They are attracted to lights. The eggs are laid in dead pine and the larvae which take two or three years to mature, are generally found in trees dead more than a year. Adults sometimes visit flowers for pollen. Dan, one of our beetle experts writes back: “daniel yup looks like ergates to me i wouldn’t refer to this as a pine sawyer though. Pine Sawyers are in the genus monochamus (much smaller) dan”

There you go. I looked up ergates spiculatus after receiving your email and the pictures that come up look pretty much like the beetle I had. They sound relatively harmless. It might have been a “small” one, but it was big enough. It surprised me pretty good…almost as much as the first Jerusalem Cricket I found.

Letter 7 – Northeastern Pine Sawyer

 

Unidentified beetle
Location: Cooperstown, Otsego County New York State
August 5, 2011 9:37 pm
I found this species for the first time a few years ago in Cooperstown, Otsego County New York State in a spruce tree I cut down, and tonight, in my bed!
would you please help identify it?
It is a fast mover so I apologize for the bad shot.
Signature: Eric Slater

Northeastern Pine Sawyer

Hi Eric,
This is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae and the genus
Monochamus.  We believe it is the Northeastern Pine Sawyer, Monochamus notatus, based on your location and the beetle’s markings, and you may verify by comparing your individual to the images posted to BugGuide, especially this image.

 

Letter 8 – Northeastern Pine Sawyer, we believe

 

Subject:  What is this bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Vermont
Date: 10/06/2017
Time: 06:48 PM EDT
I saw this bug on my porch and have never seen one before. I am just wondering what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Tina

Northeastern Pine Sawyer, we believe

Dear Tina,
This is a Flatfaced Longhorn Beetle in the subfamily Lamiinae, and we feel pretty confident it is the Northeastern Pine Sawyer,
Monochamus notatus, thanks to this BugGuide image.

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 – Northeastern Pine Sawyer with Phoretic Mites

 

Subject: New to me
Location: Roanoke, VA
May 14, 2017 12:57 pm
Greetings. You have featured my shots 3 times I think. Cicada emerges, wheel bug, and a golden orb weaver. I love learning about all critters! I have not run into a new to me invertebrate in a few years. We recently moved and have some acreage. This guy showed up on the porch. He’s about the size of an eyed elater. He has pretty beefy jaws. What am I looking at here?
thank you!
Signature: neanderpaul

Northeastern Pine Sawyer with Phoretic Mites

Hi again Neanderpaul,
This is the first letter we have responded to that arrived since Daniel’s five-day hospitalization with pneumonia, resulting in WTB? going dark for a week.  Your images are amazing, and that headshot is a perfect illustration on why members of the Longhorned Borer Beetle subfamily Laminae are known as Flat-Faced Longhorns.  This is a Northeastern Pine Sawyer,
Monochamus notatus, which we verified with this BugGuide image.  If you look closely at that headshot, you will see some Phoretic Mites that are hitching a ride as they lack wings, and the Sawyer provides a means of locomotion.  This BugGuide series of images illustrates the same interspecies relationship.

Northeastern Pine Sawyer
Howdy,
Awesome! After some clues I thought I had a white spotted sawyer beetle. Northwestern pine sawyer it is. Thanks so much for the wealth of knowledge! I love all critters. Especially invertebrates!
Prayers offered for Daniel. Thanks for this great service you all provide.
NeanderPaul
Northeastern Pine Sawyer

Letter 2 – Capricorn Beetle from France

 

Whats that bug
Location: Arcachon, Cote d’Argent, France
July 2, 2011 5:11 am
Found on a beach at Cote d’Argent, South west of Bordeaux, France and possibly more significantly near one of Europe’s biggest pine forest
Signature: Eric cookney

Capricorn from France

Hi Eric,
This is a member of the genus
Monochamus, and in North America, they are called Pine Sawyers.  The larvae are wood borers in pine trees, generally in trees that are damaged by fire, storm or disease.  We are having trouble determining the species.  We believe it may be a male Monochamus sartor, which is pictured on Wikimedia, or perhaps Monochamus galloprovincialis which may be found on the waldwissen website.

Correction Courtesy of Mardikavana
This isn’t monochamus. This is some kind of Cerambyx. Maybe Cerambyx velutinus or cerambyx cerdo if you were really lucky.

Ed. NOte: Here is a photo of Cerambyx cerdo from NaturePHoto for comparison.

Letter 3 – Black Pine Sawyer from Poland

 

Subject:  Cerambycidae, but which one
Geographic location of the bug:  Europe/Poland
Date: 06/14/2018
Time: 03:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
I am trying to identify this one, without luck.
Please help ! 🙂
How you want your letter signed:  Piotr Podermanski

Longicorn is Black Pine Sawyer

Got it, it’s  Monochamus galloprovincialis.

Dear Piotr,
We are happy you were able to identify your Black Pine Sawyer, which is the common name used on iNaturalist where it states:  “The Pine sawyer beetle (
Monochamus galloprovincialis), also referred to as the Black pine sawyer beetle, is a species of beetle in the family Cerambycidae. It was described by Olivier in 1795, originally under the genus Cerambyx. It has a wide distribution, occurring naturally throughout Europe and the Caucasus. It has also been introduced into the Canary Islands.”

Letter 4 – Bycid might be Spotted Pine Sawyer

 

Subject: Bug Picture from Oregon
Location: Oregon
August 4, 2014 10:17 pm
Dear bugman,
I love your site! A couple years ago I saw a very strange bug and sent it into this site, and got a response almost immediately (it was a dragonfly naiad), thanks!
I only have one picture of this bug. It was taken in Oregon, if that helps.
Signature: Nathaniel Clucas

Possibly Spotted Pine Sawyer
Possibly Spotted Pine Sawyer

Hi Nathaniel,
This is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae, and there isn’t enough detail in your image to be certain, but it appears it might be a Spotted Pine Sawyer,
Monochamus clamator.  You can compare your individual to the images posted to BugGuide.

This is amazing thank you so much for your prompt response. You guys are truly amazing!
-Natty

Letter 5 – Ergates Pine Sawyer

 

Longicorn ??
hi just curious what genus and species of longicorn beetle this was, ur site has been very interesting and helpful so any help would be greatly appreciated .
yours greatfully
wayno the bugman

Hi Wayne,
By the looks of things, it appears you might be beginning a collection. This beautiful specimen is one of the Ergates Pine Sawyers. The larva eat the sapwood and heartwood of pines and Douglas firs usually feeding in fallen logs, stumps and telephone poles. According to Hogue, Ergates spiculatus is the largest local beetle in Los Angeles.

Letter 6 – Ergates Sawyer

 

Is Dan around? I have a new bug. This thing is about 1.25 to 1.5 inches long, not including antennae. Actual size, on my computer. I bought another little digital camera. It takes crappy up-close photos, apparently. 🙁
chris

Hi Chris,
You have one of the Borer Beetles, Family Cerambycidae. My best guess is a Western Pine Sawyer, Ergates spiculatus. Males have longer antennae. The dark head and prothorax and the lighter elytra or wing covers are a good indication of the species. Your specimen is small. Large males will reach 2 1/4 inches. They are attracted to lights. The eggs are laid in dead pine and the larvae which take two or three years to mature, are generally found in trees dead more than a year. Adults sometimes visit flowers for pollen. Dan, one of our beetle experts writes back: “daniel yup looks like ergates to me i wouldn’t refer to this as a pine sawyer though. Pine Sawyers are in the genus monochamus (much smaller) dan”

There you go. I looked up ergates spiculatus after receiving your email and the pictures that come up look pretty much like the beetle I had. They sound relatively harmless. It might have been a “small” one, but it was big enough. It surprised me pretty good…almost as much as the first Jerusalem Cricket I found.

Letter 7 – Northeastern Pine Sawyer

 

Unidentified beetle
Location: Cooperstown, Otsego County New York State
August 5, 2011 9:37 pm
I found this species for the first time a few years ago in Cooperstown, Otsego County New York State in a spruce tree I cut down, and tonight, in my bed!
would you please help identify it?
It is a fast mover so I apologize for the bad shot.
Signature: Eric Slater

Northeastern Pine Sawyer

Hi Eric,
This is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae and the genus
Monochamus.  We believe it is the Northeastern Pine Sawyer, Monochamus notatus, based on your location and the beetle’s markings, and you may verify by comparing your individual to the images posted to BugGuide, especially this image.

 

Letter 8 – Northeastern Pine Sawyer, we believe

 

Subject:  What is this bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Vermont
Date: 10/06/2017
Time: 06:48 PM EDT
I saw this bug on my porch and have never seen one before. I am just wondering what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Tina

Northeastern Pine Sawyer, we believe

Dear Tina,
This is a Flatfaced Longhorn Beetle in the subfamily Lamiinae, and we feel pretty confident it is the Northeastern Pine Sawyer,
Monochamus notatus, thanks to this BugGuide image.

Authors

    by
  • 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.

  • 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.

4 thoughts on “White Spotted Sawyer Beetle: Comprehensive Quick Guide”

  1. This isn’t monochamus. This is some kind of Cerambyx. Maybe Cerambyx velutinus or cerambyx cerdo if you were really lucky.

    Reply

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