Spotted, locust borer

Little hitchhiker showed up driving home from Solomon’s Island. It took quite a bit to get him safely from the element.

Family: Beetles

Description: 3/8–1 1/8″ (11–28mm). Elongate, stout. Velvety black with golden-yellow bars on head, pronotum, and elytra, including “W” in middle of body. Antennae are dark brown, 2/3 male’s body length; female’s 1/2 as long. Legs are reddish brown.

Habitat: Woods with black locust trees.

Range: Eastern and southern United States and eastern Canada.

Discussion: Locust borers are named for the larvae, which bore into black locust trees. This colorful species lives near black locusts in meadows, uncultivated fields, and other open habitats. Late in the day and at night, females run up and down black locust trunks in search of egg-laying sites, such as wounds and other rough places on the bark. The similar-looking Painted Hickory Borer (M. caryae), 1/2-3/4″ (12-20 mm), attacks hickory, black walnut, butternut, osage orange, and mulberry.

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Info via Audubon guide.