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  • Cottonwood Borer Beetle - (Plectrodera scalator)

    Cottonwood Borer Beetle - (Plectrodera scalator)

    The serious threat to Cottonwood, Poplar and Willow tree populations by the Cottonwood Borer is black-and-white.

    Staff Writer (11/13/2017): The Cottonwood Borer is part of the large Long-Horned Beetle family that makes its way throughout the summertime months destroying trees. They are very identifiable by their long antennae ('horns') which are often times longer than the insect's whole body.

    With over 1,200 North American long-horned beetles categorized, the Cottonwood Borer is just one of many to study. These particular borers live near river banks and fancy the woods of poplar, willow and cottonwood trees.

    The female adult Cottonwood Borer drills holes into the base of the targeted trees to lay her eggs. The larvae of the species are known to destroy trees and logs by reducing the inside wood to sawdust. They also chew on the fragile root system until the tree can no longer gather nutrients or water from the soil.

    Adults slowly work their way up to the branches, chewing and destroying them until they ultimately reach the leaves. Given time, these boring beetles can completely decimate series of trees, sometimes eliminating neighborhood blocks of their tree cover.

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    Details of the:
    Cottonwood Borer Beetle

    Category: Beetle
    Common name: Cottonwood Borer Beetle
    Scientific Name: Plectrodera scalator

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Coleoptera
          Family: Cerambycidae
           Genus: Plectrodera
            Species: scalator

    Size (Adult, Length): 25mm to 40mm (0.98in to 1.57in)

    Identifying Colors: black; yellow; white

    Additional Descriptors: marbled, spots, squares, patches, flying, harmful

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arkansas; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Mexico

    * 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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