Beetle that looks like a wasp

Most beetles are considered to be round or oval, with a hard shell like the lady beetle or ground beetle. However the Flower Longhorn Beetle is a beautiful species of Cerambycidae with a long and slender body, very long antennae and bright colors to mimic more dangerous flying pests in the garden.

The most striking feature of the Flower Longhorn Beetle is their long antennae, which can be as long as the entire body. These long antennae are the reason that they gained the name Longhorn Beetle. Their bodies  can reach up to 3/4” in length, with the antennae making an entire length of up to 1 ½”. They can develop in different color patterns, depending on the species, but here in Tennessee we will primarily see the black and yellow combination. With wings, a slender body and bright black and yellow markings they can be mistaken for a wasp or yellow jacket. That is part of their defense; to mimic or pretend to be a stinging wasp in order to scare off predators. Couple the masquerade of a dangerous stinger with a hard shell of a beetle, and they are well protected. And they need this, as they are hunted by predators such as birds, wasps or ground reptiles.

The Flower Longhorn Beetle can be spotted in peak months of summer. During June and July they prefer to fly around and survey open fields next to wooded areas in search of pollen from flowers such as the Rose and Aster family. During these months they mate, and the female lays eggs underneath the bark of trees. They do this, because the eggs hatch into larvae that need decaying wood to feed on. Some species actually feed on live trees and can cause damage to fruit bearing trees. The larvae bore into the wood and use this nutrition to develop over the next two to three months into an adult, however some species have the ability to stay dormant for up to two or three years before they develop into adults. Although some larvae damage live fruit trees, the larvae that feed on decaying wood, or old tree stumps actually contribute to the environment by allowing holes to be bored and quicken the decomposing process and making room for new plants to grow and replace the dead ones. They will actually inhabit the same stumps or decaying trees for years, never leaving and allowing generations to lay eggs, bore and continue their life cycles right there in the same tree.

The Flower Longhorn Beetle is most numerous in the tropics; however we do have the black and yellow variety right here in Nashville, Tennessee. They are not considered to be a Nashville Pest Control issue, but we definitely have our share of pests to be concerned about. Certified Pest Control Nashville is your local family owned and operated 5 – Star rated first choice to call. Contact our family to receive a free quote on year round pest prevention. Our rates and level of service cannot be beat, so give us a call at Certified Pest Control, LLC.

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