Only fallen pine trees are used by the Northeastern Pine Sawyer Beetle, the largest long-horned beetle in the east.
Unlike other pine borers, the Northeastern Pine Sawyer is not considered a pest. Because females choose trees that are dying or that have already fallen over, they are no threat to living trees. Pine logs, and possibly other types of trees left out to season in the summer months may find themselves becoming a nursery for larval beetles which can reduce the lumber's value, but because it does not impact healthy trees, the beetle is not a threat to forests.
The sheer size of an adult is enough to garner attention. The antennae alone are over 7.5 cm (3 inches) long. The length of the body can reach over 5 cm (2 inches) long. It is the largest long-horned beetle in that geographic range. It is mostly brown and gray. The eltyra (wing coverings) have a bumpy texture that showcase glossy dark spots and powdery light spots on a speckled background. A large, creamy white pointy projection juts out of each side of the 'neck'. Dark legs look like they are covered with a light powder. The head has ivory and brown mottled coloring and may have tiny red mites on it.
Females lay eggs on split or open ends of wood. Larvae have strong jaws and chew their way deeper into the wood to overwinter, taking nutrients from the wood tissue and sap of the dying tree. Adults may eat pine needles, but not in such numbers that it negatively impacts the tree.
Despite its name, a population of Northeastern Pine Sawyers has found a home in the Pacific Northwest, but its choice of dying trees for host plants means it is not a threat to those forests either.
Scientific Name: Monochamus notatus
Other Name(s): Northeaster Sawyer Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 25mm to 55mm (0.98in to 2.15in)
Colors: brown, gray
Descriptors: huge, large, long, bumpy, flocking, flying, chewing, pine tree, long antennae, red dots, red mites, powder, neck point, thorns
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.