Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Red Headed Ash Borer - (Neoclytus acuminatus)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 5/29/2015

The distinctly marked Red Headed Ash Borer Beetle works on trees that are dead, dying or already chopped down.

Red Headed Ash Borer beetles are related to the Long Horned Borer beetles. They mimic wasps in appearance only and harmless to people. They are often confused with wasps when in flight as these beetles can fly - though not as well as wasps. The long back legs sometimes give the beetle the appearance of a cricket, but they are not related. Their yellow stripes on a reddish-black body with red heads give this beetle away quite easily once you've seen them before.

Red Headed Ash Borer larvae will feed on vines or shrubs along with sapwood of your basic oak, hickory and ash trees, but will take on most any other hardwood of downed timber (where the bark still remains) as well. These little critters are unwittingly brought indoors in stacks of firewood that have spent some time seasoning in the outdoors. Once indoors, adult Red Headed Ash Borer Beetles are attracted to light sources.

Red Headed Ash Borer activity is mainly from March to October throughout much of eastern North America. Their reach is reported to be as anywhere east of the Rocky Mountains, though they have been seen in California.

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Category: Beetle
Common name: Red Headed Ash Borer
Scientific Name: Neoclytus acuminatus
Other Names: Long Horned Borer Beetle

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
     Order: Coleoptera
      Family: Cerambycidae
       Genus: Neoclytus
        Species: acuminatus

Adult Size (Length): 4mm to 16mm (0.16in to 0.63in)

Identifying Colors: yellow; white; black; red; orange

Additional Descriptors: stripes, flying

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.