What is this bug?

This brilliant looking bug has been hanging out around one of our out buildings for the last few days. We've haven't seen anything like it before. The colour contrasts are remarkable. Does anyone know what this is?

August 16, 2011 9:36 AM

Community Comments

  • Avatar Ian says:

    That looks like a spruce beetle, but the only ones I have ever seen are all black so??

  • Avatar Kate says:

    So I think it may be Asian Long-horned Beetle. I saw one of those the other day as well in Victoria. My husband scared it away before I could get a picture but after some good old google search this is the closest this I could come up with: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/alhb.htm.

  • Avatar Mark F says:

    Zebra bug aka Alder borer.
    about 3 seconds on google "zebra.bug"

  • Avatar Barry says:

    It's a banded alder borer sometimes confused with the Asian longhorn beetle. More info at
    http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/homehort/pest/long-horned_beetle.htm

  • Avatar Jean Brouard says:

    I am with Barry on this one. It is a banded alder borer. Rosalia funebris. If you Google on the scientific name you will find lots of similar images.

    Jean

  • Avatar BRIAN BRETT says:

    YUP, IT'S AN ALDER BORING BEETLE, LOTS OF IDENTIFICATION AVAILABLE, BUT VERY LITTLE ON BEHAVIOUR AND LIFE HISTORY. JUST THAT IT EATS ALDER. THERE'S A COUPLE OF OTHER WHOPPERS AROUND THIS YEAR INCLUDING THE BIG ORANGE FELLER AND THE LONG WINGED BLACK THINGEEMAJIG WHICH IS EVEN BIGGER THAN THE ALDER BUG. THE BIG ORANGE GUY ACTUALLY CAME IN DURING THE NIGHT AND LANDED ON OUR BEDSHEET, TWO INCHES LONG. GIVING ME A REAL THRILL. I CAUGHT IT IN AN OPEN BOOK AND EJECTED IT WITHOUT THE SKITTISH WIFE EVEN WAKING UP. THANK GOODNESS!!!

  • Avatar Marv Coulthard says:

    Not just alder... wood borer... The larvae chew around and around the tree until the circulation is cut and the tree dies.. we lost a beautiful 60 yr old chesnut several years back cuz of this little demon.

    cheers
    Marv

  • Avatar Barry says:

    I wonder if this one may be a distant relative?
    Say Rosalia funebris three times and let us know what happens 😉

    http://www.seriousland.com/6a00d83454428269e200e54f8b24d98834-800wi.png

  • Thank you for all this feedback. It does indeed look like a Banded Alder Borer. We had just painted the out building it is on and per some of these links, it was attracted to the new paint. It's gone now and haven't seen any others.

  • Avatar sean goddard says:

    great shot of a cool looking beetle!
    thanks for sharing it

  • Avatar Marv Coulthard says:

    Christopher. Just watch your trees in that area closely in the next year... any signs of no growth in spring.. you can be sure this guy was the culprit... I managed to save most of the chestnut wood for carving and wood projects but when we cut the logs into lumber you could see the devastation to the Cambrian layer. He went round and round and round until the circulation was totally cut off.

  • Great. Thank you Marv. I will look around at the trees close to the building and see if I can find any evidence of them.

  • Avatar Trish says:

    the Banded Alder Beetle will not kill trees. It is only interested in dead trees.

  • Avatar Dawn Jones says:

    I have a photograph of this bug too which we saw in Vancouver last weekend. My family and I are on holiday on one of the Gulf Islands and we were amazed to see this too and also wondered what it was! 😀

  • Avatar Barry says:

    From the Washington State Cooperative Extension web site:

    "Incidentally, adults of this species are highly prized by collectors, and retail outlets that sell insects to collectors charge an impressive price for good specimens."

    Who knew!

  • Avatar Trish says:

    They are so beautiful. My 4 year old grandson and i examined one very closely a few days ago in Comox. It is sad they are prized by collectors as many are probably taken out of their habitat or killed. I googled them and apparently they are not considered a pest as they usually do not kill trees and they like to lay eggs in dead trees. Also, i read that they do not bite. Mother nature is so awesome.

  • Avatar Sue Earle says:

    We took down a recently deceased maple tree, and over several days, have killed 20 of these coming out from the stacked and split wood. Our research said that they can kill the tree.

  • Avatar Jean Brouard says:

    With the exception of bark beetles that girdle young conifers and rhinoceros beetles that can eat out coconut tree hearts most beetles do not kill living trees directly. Tree death usually results from the introduction of pathogenic fungi. These are often coevolved ascomycete fungi that have sticky spores carried on the beetles hairs and bristles. You would have to have an extremely heavy attack to kill a tree. Most cerambycid (long horn) beetles have larvae that feed on dead and decaying wood. Mountain Pine Beetle and the beetle carriers of Dutch Elm Disease both cause tree death through introduced pathogens that interfere with the tree's water transport mechanism.