A recent image came in to the lab from the Wausau area of an adult elderberry borer (Desmocerus palliatus). It gets its name from the larval stage which lives inside the stems of elderberry plants and bores down to the roots. These beetles are members of the long-horned beetle family (Cerambycidae) due to their long antennae. The elderberry borer happens to be one of our most distinctive species, although it isn’t spotted often. It was even featured many years ago on a 33 cent US postal stamp.
One of my favorite submissions to the lab came in recently from Waupaca County, WI. The species is known as the Goldsmith Beetle (Cotalpa lonigera). It resembles a large May/June Beetle or the Grapevine Beetle. The neat thing about this particular species is the brilliant metallic, golden color of the head and pronotum, which reminds me of the scarabs of ancient Egyptian lore. It’s an uncommon species known from the eastern half of North America, and is apparently associated with woodlands.
“What’s Crawling in the Lab?” is a blog featuring short stories, pictures, and highlights from the UW-Madison Insect Diagnostic Lab. Topics range from the insects most commonly diagnosed in the lab to emerging arthropod pests and unique and bizarre cases from the lab.
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