Cottonwood Borer Beetle (Plectrodera scalator)
Detailing the identifying qualities of the Cottonwood Borer Beetle, including physical features and territorial reach.
Updated: 11/13/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The serious threat to Cottonwood, Poplar and Willow tree populations by the Cottonwood Borer is black-and-white.
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.