Ivorymarked beetle, Eburia
and information given by Mark (I need him to call me back and give me his last name so I
can give him credit) in Florida! Mark says the the larva can live for several years and
only get in the wood AFTER it has been cut if the bark is left on it. He also says that
heating the logs to 135 degrees F for one hour can kill the larva. We are looking into it.
We still know that Cypress is the MOST durable wood that money can buy, but we want to
give the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!
There are no secrets here because because.......
Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny.
-- Robert Heinlein
or it is at least the beginning of what you find at the
south end of a north bound bull.
This Picture is from Mark's house which is three years old. The above
beetle is drilling a cypress timber. I have never seen this before in 7 years of looking.
According to Mark this does NOT damage the wood structurally, but is a pain nonetheless.
http://entmuseum9.ucr.edu/ent133/ebeling/ebel5-2.html#roundheaded borers species
A common eastern species on hickory, locust, and ash, often attracting attention in
resort areas, is the fourspotted longhorn, Eburia quadrigeminata (Say) (figure 123, D). It
is 1.5 to 2.5 cm long, light brown to tan, and easily recognized because of the 2 pairs of
elevated, ivory-colored swellings on, and the 2 spines at the tip of, each elytron. The
life cycle usually requires 2 years, but this species has also been found emerging from
flooring, sills, and other wood members 10 to 15 years after the materials were installed
Unusual "Pest Interception"
Florida recently reported the detection of Eburia quadrigeminate (Say), a
longhorn beetlw, from inside a chair purchased from a furniture company. The homwowners
has the chair for 5 years in their homr and one day they heard chewing. The pest control
operator pulled the beetle out of the chair. Tri-ology 34(5), Nov.-Dec., 1995
Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet
1991 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1090
Woodboring, Roundheaded and Flatheaded Borer Adults
William F. Lyon
Roundheaded Borers or
Flatheaded or Metallic
Most roundheaded and flatheaded borers are found within a structure shortly after it is
Adult beetles that emerge inside the home often end up near lights or at a window. They
do not bite or sting. Most will not reinfest structural wood, especially when it is
painted, varnished, waxed or finished. The old house borer is an exception. Some adults
enter homes on firewood or are attracted to home lights and accidentally gain entry.
Adult roundheaded borers vary in length from 8 to 76mm. They are elongate and usually
cylindrical (some flattened) with long antennae, which give them the name 'longhorned
beetles.' Beetles attacking softwoods can be drab and unattractive, whereas beetles on
hardwoods are brightly colored and conspicuously marked. Larvae are whitish to
cream-colored, thin-skinned, segmented and 9 to 50mm long with the head partly withdrawn.
Adult flatheaded borers are 6 to 34mm long, boat-shaped and flattened. Many are
beautifully marked or metallic colored and are often referred to as 'metallic wood
borers.' Wing covers are ridged or roughened. Larvae have flattened plates on the upper
and lower surface of the first segment behind the head. They are whitish to yellow, with
no legs and one to two inches long. Abdominal segments are smaller than thorax segments.
Bronze Birch Borer and Locust Borer
Redheaded ash borer, Neoclytus acuminatus (Fabricius)
An elongate, slender, cylindrical beetle, 6 to 8mm long, reddish-brown with yellow
crossbands on the wing covers. The thorax bears four to six small transverse ridges on the
median longitudinal ridge. Larvae feed in the unseasoned wood of hardwood trees,
honeycombing the sapwood and packing mines tightly with granular frass. Primary host trees
include ash, oak, hickory, persimmon and hackberry.
Locust borer, Megacyllene robiniae (Forster)
A medium-sized, robust beetle from 14 to 18mm long, black and marked with yellow
crossbands. One band on the wing cover is W-shaped. The thorax is wider than it is long.
Larvae feed beneath the bark and in the wood of black locust, and exude frass. In the
autumn, adults are found feeding on the pollen of goldenrod. Larvae are a serious pest of
Painted hickory borer, Megacyllene caryae (Gahan)
Adults resemble locust borers. Eggs are laid in spring on bark scales of logs cut in
winter. Larvae feed in freshly cut wood of hickory, osage-orange, hackberry, grape and
ash; large amounts of granular frass are exuded. Hickory firewood held over the summer can
be seriously riddled with adult emergence.
Ivorymarked beetle, Eburia
Adults are elongate, subcylindrical, pale-yellow and 14 to 24mm long. Each wing cover
has two small, longitudinal, ivory spots close together at the base; there is a second
similar pair just behind the middle. The thorax has two blackish tubercles on top and a
short, sharp spine on each side. Larvae are true heartwood borers, preferring dry, solid
wood where it excavates large, contorted mines tightly packed with frass. Oak, hickory,
ash, chestnut, maple and cypress can become infested. Beetles sometimes emerge from
flooring and furniture several years after they have been placed in a building.
Elm borer, Saperda tridentata Olivier
Adults are 9 to 14mm long and densely clothed with grayish pubescence. The thorax and
wings bear narrow orange stripes on the sides. The wings have three oblique crossbars.
Adults lay eggs in bark of weakened or dying elm trees. Larvae bore beneath the bark,
filling the mines with fibrous frass and completely destroying the inner bark and cambium.
Park and shade trees are severely injured, especially old, mature, unhealthy trees. Limbs
are attacked first.
Tanbark borer, Phymatodes testaceus (L.)
Adults are elongate, depressed beetles 8 to 13mm long. The thorax is rounded and
yellowish with the wing covers either blue or yellowish. Larvae feed beneath the bark of
dead oaks and sometimes in stored hemlock bark. Larvae can mine entirely in the bark of
stored and piled wood, causing economic loss. Use bark within three years.
Rustic borer, Xylotrechus colonus (Fabricius)
Adults are dark-brown beetles up to 8 to 17mm long with irregular variable whitish or
Southern pine sawyer, Monochamus titillator (Fabricius)
Adults are large, elongate, cylindrical beetles 15 to 30mm long, black to
brownish-black and often mottled with whitish or grayish pubescence. The thorax is
cylindrical with a spine at each side, and the antennae and legs are very long. Larvae
bore beneath the bark of recently killed and felled pine, spruce and balsam fir trees by
filling the mines with fibrous frass.
Blackhorned pine borer, Callidium antennatum hesperum Casey
Adults are flattened, blackish-blue beetles 9 to 14mm long with the thorax rounded and
indented on each side of the middle. Larvae feed beneath the bark and in the sapwood of
dry coniferous wood, making extensive mines and exuding large amounts of granular frass.
Feeding occurs primarily in pines, spruces, hemlocks, junipers and cedars. Lumber sawed
and stored is often injured.
Bronze birch borer, Agrilus anxius Gory
Adults are small beetles 6 to 10mm long, flattened and green-bronze in color. Larvae
attack dying or weakened birches, beech and aspens. White and paper birches grown as shade
and ornamental trees are injured most seriously. Larval mines are always packed tightly
with fine, sawdust-like pellets or frass arranged in arc-like layers. Beetle emergence
holes are D-shaped.
Identification of the beetle, evaluation of the extent of damage and structural
characteristics of the infested building are needed to plan a control program. Since most
beetles do not reinfest structural timbers, control is not needed. Most control programs
are limited to temperature treatment, replacing infested wood, spot treatment with a
residual insecticide or, in severe infestations, fumigation.
To prevent beetles from emerging from firewood, bring in only an amount that can be
burned within three to five days. Always inspect antique furniture, picture frames and
wood brought from foreign countries for evidence of emergence holes, frass, larval
infestations or any other signs that might indicate an insect infestation.
educational programs conducted by Ohio State University Extension are available to
clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, creed, religion,
sexual orientation, national origin, gender, age, disability or Vietnam-era veteran
Smith, Associate Vice President for Ag. Adm. and Director, OSU Extension.
800-589-8292 (Ohio only) or 614-292-1868
University of Florida Book of Insect Records
Chapter 12 Longest Life Cycle
Department of Entomology & Nematology
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611-0620
8 May 1995
Under exceptional conditions, some individuals of wood-boring beetles (Ceram-bycidae
and Buprestidae) have the longest life cycle. One Buprestis aurulenta larva emerged
after 51 years. Three species of 17-year periodical cicadas, Magicicada septendecim,
M. cassini, and M. septendecula, are well-known to have the longest synchronized
development times in natural conditions.
Life cycle is defined as the sequence of events from egg to reproducing adult.
Metamorphosis is a characteristic of insect life cycles, and the different stages become
distinct units of development time. Each of these units must face environmental exigencies
often quite different from those of the others. Insects have solved the problems of
synchronizing life cycles to seasonal periodicities and responding to other biotic and
abiotic factors with an impressive array of tactical alternatives. These include
flexibility in diapause and development rates (Dingle 1986). On the other hand, there are
many cases in which life cycles are made longer by prolonged development time rather than
diapause. This paper is a literature review of the longest life cycles in the class
CD-ROM versions of Biological Abstracts and AGRICOLA were searched from
year 1989 to the present. The more useful resources were personal communications with
scientists, and secondary literature.
In some insect species, different individuals have different spans of life cycle
depending on individual inhabited environment. On the other hand, some species have an
unchangeable period for their life cycle regardless of inhabited environment.
Many recorded cases of prolonged of life cycle are in Coleoptera. The wood boring
beetle, Eburia quadrigeminata (Ceram-bycidae), when feeding in dry wood, may have
its development so greatly retarded that adults emerge from furniture and flooring many
years after manufacture or installation. Delayed emergence of E. quadrigeminata was
discovered from a birch bookcase 40 years old (Jaques 1918). Huguenin (1915) was the first to record
a development time of Buprestis aurulenta (Buprestidae) from structural timbers as
long as 26 years after infestation. Thirty-two additional cases of delayed emergence in Buprestis
were presented by Smith (1962) , with 11
of the total cases between 26 and 51 years. For some of these cases, infestation by later
direct attack was suggested. However, considering the potential of these wood beetle
species for prolonged larval development, Smith
(1962) believed that when wood beetles emerge from a structure, it indicates larval
development at least equivalent to the age of the structural members they emerged from,
unless local and more recent repairs have introduced the infestation.
Compared with the lack of convincing concrete evidence of prolonged development time
for these two beetle species, the periodical cicadas requirement of 17 years to
complete nymphal development is well documented. Marlatt (1907) studied the development in
the 17-year nymphs by digging up specimens from the same grove of trees over a period of
17 years. This seventeen year development time is shared by three distinct species-Magicicada
septen-decim (Linnaeus), M. cassini (Fisher), and M. septendecula
Alexander and Moore. The three species are sympatric, but are separated microspatially by
preferring different but overlapping forest types. Within the same brood, emergences
co-occur with definite synchrony.
As described above, some cases of prolonged development time are extrinsically mediated
by direct effects the environment, such as Buprestis aurulenta. Smith (1962) suggested there are innate
differences in rate of development amongst individuals of the same B. aurulenta
brood; some have short rates of development and others prolonged develop-ment under the
same environmental conditions. Obviously, the poor nutritional quality of dead wood causes
significantly prolonged development (Haack
& Slansky 1987). As, Howard (1942)
pointed out, under these exceptional conditions, the larvae of certain wood-boring beetles
(Cerambycidae and Buprestidae) in furniture and manufactured wooden articles may have the
longest lives recorded among insects.
Conversely, for three species of 17-year periodical cicadas, the prolonged development
time is the result of an endogenous mechanism. Cicadas feed exclusively on xylem fluid as
nymphs and as adults (Cheung and Marshall
1973). Slow development in cicadas could be comprehensible due to their exceedingly
dilute diet of xylem fluid that is energetically expensive to procure (White and Strehl 1978; Lloyd 1984). Furthermore, the nymphs may
only be able to feed during the limited period when xylem pressures are positive or when
the negative pressures are not impossible to overcome. In addition, the size of the
cibarial pump may limit the rate of ingestion. Karban (1986) advanced a detailed
hypothesis for the relationship between nutrition and prolonged development in cicadas.
The mechanism that maintains the precise developmental periodicity is not simply a uniform
determined development rate. The first individuals to complete their growth have to wait
to emerge until the scheduled number of years has elapsed (Lloyd and Dybas 1966).
In summary, although 17-year cicadas are well-known for their long life cycle in
natural habitats, some wood beetle species definitely have the longest life cycles in
I thank Drs. Thomas J. Walker, James E. Lloyd, and Mike Thomas for helpful advice.
Cheung, W. W. K. & A. T. Marshall. 1973. Water and ion regulation in cicadas in
relation to xylem feeding. J. Insect Physiol. 19: 1801-1816.
Dingle, H. 1986. The evolution of insect life cycle syndromes, pp.187-203. In F.
Taylor & R. Karban [eds.], The evolution of insect life cycles. Springer-Verlag, New
Dybas, H. S. & M. Lloyd. 1974. The habitats of 17-year periodical cicadas (
Homoptera: Cicadida: Magicicada spp.). Ecol. Monogr. 44: 279-324.
Haack, R. A. & F. Slansky Jr. 1986. Nutritional ecology of wood-feeding Coleoptera,
Lepidoptera, and Hymenoptera, pp. 449-486. In F. Slansky Jr. & J. G. Rodriguez
[eds.], Nutritional ecology of insects, mites, spiders and related invertebrates. Wiley
Interscience, New York.
Howard, L. O. 1942. Ageing of insects, pp. 49-65. In E. V. Cowdry [eds.],
Problems of ageing, biological and medical aspects. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore.
Huguenin, J. C. 1915. An observation on a buprestid. Entomol. News 26: 364-365. [Not
seen; cited by Linsley 1943, p. 349.]
Jaques, H. E. 1918. A long-life wood-boring beetle. Proc. Iowa Acad. Sci. 25: 175. [Not
seen; cited by Linsley 1962, p. 67.]
Karban, R. 1986. Prolonged development in cicadas, pp. 222-235. In F. Taylor
& R. Karban [eds.], The evolution of insect life cycles. Spring-Verlag, New York.
Linsley, E. G. 1943. Delayed emergence of Buprestis aurulenta from structural
timbers. J. Econ. Entomol. 36: 348-348.
Linsley, E. G. 1962. The Cerambycidae of North America: part III. Taxonomy and
classification of the subfamily Ceram-bycinae, tribes Opsimini through Mega-derini.
University of California Press, Berkeley, Calif.
Lloyd, M. & H. S. Dybas. 1966. The periodical cicada problem. II. Evolution.
Evolution 20: 466-505.
Lloyd, M. 1984. Periodical cicadas. Antenna 8: 79-91.
Marlatt, H. B. 1907. The periodical cicada. USDA Bur. Entomol. Bull. 71: 1-181.
Smith, D. N. 1962. Prolonged larval development in Buprestis aurulenta L.
(Coleoptera: Buprestidae). A review with new cases. Can. Entomol. 94: 586-593.
White, J. & C. Strehl. 1978. Xylem feeding by periodical cicada nymphs on tree
roots. Ecol. Entomol. 3: 323-327.
Copyright 1995 Yong Zeng. This chapter may be freely reproduced and distributed for
noncommercial purposes. For more information on copyright, see the Preface.
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b. Wood borers. Wood borers belong to
the family Cerambycidae. Larvae are called round-headed borers; adults are called
long-horned beetles. These beetles feed mainly on dry wood. Their chief role in nature is
to destroy dead trees to permit new growth. In structural woods, they can be distinguished
from all other wood-boring beetles by a few prominent characteristics. The larvae are
large ( 1 inch or more long), fleshy, thin-skinned, white or yellowish, and more or less
cylindrical. They may taper posteriorly, but this tapering is very gradual. Larvae may or
may not have legs. Within this family, the oviposition habits of a species are one
indicator of its specific destructiveness. Some species' eggs are laid in deep crevices of
bark; others are deposited within the bark; still others, like the eggs of the old house
borer, are deposited in season checks of exposed wood. These beetles may oviposit where
trees are felled (certain borers attacking only recently cut wood), and the use of
infested wood for construction can result in serious destruction later. Borers that attack
only freshly cut wood normally develop in a year or two. But if attacked wood is stored or
used under dry conditions, the larval period may be extended several years, occasionally
up to 12 years.
(1) Old house borer (Hylotrupes bajulus).
This beetle places its eggs in the season checks and crevices of wood, and can infest
seasoned wood years after it's used for construction. It's commonly found in framing
members, roofs and subflooring. It only attacks the sapwood of conifers wood. This
European insect is now well established in the U.S. and is becoming more abundant and
destructive each year. In Europe and South Africa, it's a major pest of coniferous wood.
The adult borer is a flattened, salty brown beetle, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch long. The thorax
is rounded, with several small tubercles at the sides and a black polished line and spots
on the upper surface. The wing covers have whitish spots which form two irregular bands
across their middle. Larvae are thin-skinned, the head is wider than it is long, the tips
of the mandibles are rounded, and there are three ocelli (simple eyes) on each side of the
head. The prothorax is smooth and shining and legs are present. Larval mines are loosely
filled with frass, which is composed of tiny pellets and fine powdery material. The old
house borer completes its life cycle in five to seven years in the north and usually three
to five years in the south.
(2) Flat oak borer (Smodicum cucujiforme).
This is a small, elongate, dorso-ventrally flattened, shiny beetle with a dull yellow
color; it's 1/3 to 2/5 inch long. The species occurs throughout the eastern U.S. Larvae
excavate long meandering galleries in the dry heartwood of oak and hickory, packing them
tightly with fine granular frass. The pupal cell is near the surface of the wood and is
merely an enlargement of the gallery. Stored lumber is frequently infested and larval feed
in it until the wood is thoroughly riddled. The life cycle may be completed in one year in
green logs and under forest conditions but lumber drying activities may extend larvae
development to several years.
(3) Ivory marked beetle (Eburia
quadrigeminata). This beetle is elongate, one-half to one inch long, and pale yellow.
It has two pairs of ivory white spots on each wing cover, the first pair longitudinal and
near the base, the second just behind the middle of the wing. The larvae are robust and
wedge-shaped, tapering posteriorly, with a tough, shining integument (outer covering)
sparsely covered with golden hairs. The legs are distinct, long and four-jointed. The
heartwood of heartwood is seriously damaged by the large, contorted larval mines, which
are tightly packed with frass. Mature trees with scars or "catfaces" which give
larvae access to hardwood are often badly damaged. Adults may also attack lumber
undergoing seasoning. Oak, hickory, ash, chestnut, maple, and cypress are susceptible to
infestation. In buildings, beetles may emerge from flooring or furniture years after the
infested wood is used.