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  • Broad-Necked Root Borer - (Prionus laticollis)

    Broad-Necked Root Borer - (Prionus laticollis)

    The giant size of female Broad-Necked Root Borer Beetles and the fierce jaws of the smaller male give this species a menacing appearance to humans, but they are most interested in plants.

    Staff Writer (9/25/2017): This forest-dwelling beetle is at home in the eastern part of the continent. The 'neck' of the Broad-Necked Root Borer is quite wide and has small spikes along the sides. The body appear black, but it may look like a dark brown as well. In stark contrast to the dark overhead view, the abdomen is yellow. Females are mammoth. They are more than two times larger than males and because of their heft, they are unable to fly though they still have wings. In fact, this genus is as large (by weight) as Rhinocerous Beetles. Males, being smaller, can fly, albeit noisily. Males have large mandibles making their jaws look like they could deliver a terrible bite. Typically, male beetles reserve use of these jaws for territorial battles with other males.

    Broad-Necked Root Borers are most active in the summer months and can be see crawling on logs or the forest floor. Females will deposit fertilized eggs into the soft earth using a syringe-like ovipositor. The eggs will hatch and the larvae will continue to dig deeper into the soil to find their food source: tree and shrub roots. They will continue to feast on the tree as they grow, consuming the inner bark and tissue for years before emerging as adults in the summer.

    If this type of beetle has made a home near buildings, it is attracted to lights at night and has a propensity to loudly hit windows.

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    Details of the:
    Broad-Necked Root Borer

    Category: Beetle
    Common name: Broad-Necked Root Borer
    Scientific Name: Prionus laticollis
    Other Names: Giant Root Borer

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Coleoptera
          Family: Cerambycidae
           Genus: Prionus
            Species: laticollis

    Size (Adult, Length): 22mm to 75mm (0.87in to 2.95in)

    Identifying Colors: black, brown, maroon, yellow

    Additional Descriptors: huge, bumpy, enormous, flying, jaws, hairy

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Indiana; Kentucky; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Mississippi; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Ohio; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; Tennessee; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Ontario; Quebec

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

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