Sunday, January 09, 2011

Round-headed Apple Tree Borer (Saperda candida)

The round-headed apple tree borer (Saperda candida) takes 2-3 years to complete its life cycle. Adult beetles are 1 inch long and brown, with two white longitudinal stripes on its back. Larvae overwinter in various stages feeding on sapwood and heartwood. Pupation occurs in late spring of the second year, and emergence begins in early summer.  Females lay eggs under bark scales, in crevices, or in tree wounds. After hatching, the larvae feed beneath the bark for a while before entering the wood.  Feed on dead or dying trees and rarely on healthy trees.  Trees become weakened and heavy infestations can kill a tree in one season. Members of the rose family are favorite hosts of the round-headed apple tree borer.  Found mostly in the eastern US and Canada.  (Source:  The Morton Arboretum)

Round-headed Apple Tree Borer Larva

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Lisa at Greenbow said...

This is one elegant beetle. I am glad I have never seen one though. OUr old apple tree can't take much more abuse. It looks pretty sad as it is.

Lana Gramlich said...

Isn't he just fine in his striped suit!

Pat - Arkansas said...

Marvelous macro, Marvin! Enlarging the photo a couple of times really shows off the enamelware gloss on this critter. I find it interesting that some of the most destructive insects are also beautiful.

Karen said...

What a great looking bug! Fantastic shots.

Izzy, Emmy 'N Alexander said...

Cool bugs! I really like finding the strange ones. lol!

Anonymous said...

These got my Jonathan apple - a dwarf variety - a couple of years ago. It just fell over.

Shelly Cox said...

What a gorgeous borer all decked out in its pinstripes. I have not seen one of these yet and we have several apple trees. Our trees produce fruit each year, but they usually end up with blight and go uneaten so I am surprised that these borers have not taken advantage of the lack of health of our trees.

Unknown said...

He's quite interesting! Love his colors and your perfect focus!!

Marvin said...

Lisa: Maybe you'll get to see one of these beetles at someone else's house.

Lana: Yes, its all decked out and, no doubt, looking for a mate.

Pat: Most of the wood boring longhorn beetle are kind of drab. The identity of this one is easy to remember because it's so distinctive.

Karen: Thanks for your visit and comment.

Alisha: When it comes to insects, there's plenty of strange ones around.

Abe: Sorry about the loss of your apple tree.

Shelly: I usually see several of these longhorns every summer. They show up under the porch light with the moths.

Lisa: Thank you, and thanks for hosting Macro Monday.

Joy K. said...

This one is a nice relief from the drab, boring, hard-to-identify insects I usually run across. How very tidy and trim.