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Banded Ash Borer (Neoclytus caprea)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Banded Ash Borer

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A Banded Ash Borer can sometimes infiltrate an interior by implementing the famous Trojan horse strategy.

Updated: 01/02/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Banded Ash Borers do not intend to move indoors, but they are often brought in while still inside firewood. This skinny beetle is a good wasp mimic, which is a benefit in nature, but a likely death sentence in a home. A black body has a yellow band around the collar. The wing coverings have two large, yellow rings near the top. Below them are two angled yellow lines. The first one may look like the letter 'm' and the lower one resembles an upside-down 'V'. A small dab of yellow coloring sits at the tip of the abdomen. The underbelly of the beetle is also black with yellow bands, helping sell the wasp image from all angles.

This type of beetle bores into the sapwood of ash trees as well as hickory. They are visible and active much of the year in the southern range from late winter to early winter later that year; less so in the north. One generation a year is produced, but the Banded Ash Borer sticks to host trees that are already sick, damaged, or dying. It is not a tree killer like the Emerald Ash Borer. If inside, it does not show interest in wooden furniture or other items so it does not take up residence. If larvae area found inside a tree, pruning off the infected branches helps control its numbers.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect antennae icon
Striped or banded insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Cerambycidae
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          Genus: Neoclytus
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            Species: caprea
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Neoclytus caprea
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 8mm to 17mm (0.31" to 0.66")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; yellow
Descriptors: wasp; stripes; ring; angle; long antennae

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 8mm (0.3in) and 17mm (0.7in)
Lo: 8mm
Md: 12.5mm
Hi: 17mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Banded Ash Borer may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Banded Ash Borer. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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