Large Flathead Pine Heartwood Borer Beetle (Chalcophora virginiensis)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Large Flathead Pine Heartwood Borer Beetle.
Updated: 6/17/2014; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A flash of metallic colors on the abdomen of the Large Flathead Pine Heartwood Borer can be seen when they take flight.
The long common name of this wood borer aptly describes much about it. It prefers coniferous forests and, particularly, the pine trees in them. Adult beetles usually breeds on dead trees and in stumps. Sometimes, however, it breeds in living pines. The larvae of the Large Flathead Pine Heartwood Borer hatch and bore, or dig, their way through the heartwood of the tree. This tunneling tends to destroy the tree's cambium tissue through which water and nutrients flow and can starve the tree to death if it is infested.
When the Large Flathead Pine Heartwood Borer adult flies, it reveals a bright abdomen (belly) that has a blue-green metallic sheen to it. This flash of color is not visible when the beetle's wings are closed. They are known to make a noise as they fly, which can help observers locate them if they're in a quiet forest.
The beetle can be found most often in the eastern part of the continent, from Canada to Florida, but its range has spread to any region that grows conifers. This means it can also be found coast-to-coast; in California and other states not originally thought to be its range.