Oct 29, 2006

Cottonwoods Beware

"Hey, that's a huge bug! What is it?"
"That's a cottonwood borer beetle."
"Oh. What do they do?"
"That's a cottonwood borer beetle."
"Hmmm. What do they eat?"
"That's a cottonwood borer beetle."

I love it when animals are appropriately named. In case you didn't know, this is the cottonwood borer beetle. It is known for its large size and bold coloring. It's also very fuzzy (click on the image for detail), which isn't common among beetles.

Cottonwood trees beware! This bug will munch (check out those mandibles) on your leaf stems and new twigs. Then, the female will bore into your base and lay eggs inside you. Once those eggs hatch, the larvae are going to burrow even deeper into you, and take as long as two years to mature. They'll spend that first year eating your roots, and the second chewing their way to your heartwood. You'll have about a three-week respite while they pupate, but then they'll munch their way back out. It's hard being a kinda cottonwood tree.

Thanks for the photo, wolfdaddy74701. You found this in your backyard? I fear for your trees.

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