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Locust Borer Beetle (Megacyllene robiniae)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Locust Borer Beetle



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Disguised as a bee, the Locust Borer Beetle does a pretty good job of pollinating flowers on its own.



Updated: 08/23/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Locust Borer Beetles are black and hairy. Thin yellow stripes cross the head and thorax. Sometimes two small yellow dots are visible on the 'waist' if the beetle is hunched over. More bands cross its wing coverings, with a large 'W' shaped one being the most obvious. Two more small yellow dots sit near the mid-line of the body. The mimicry is top-notch, but a closer inspection reveals longer antennae than a bee would have.

At dusk, females scour the trunks of a black locust tree for cracks, or pits, where they can deposit fertilized eggs. Larvae hatch and begin building small nests for themselves in the tree bark where they will stay all winter, finally leaving the shelter when warmer weather arrives. Adult Locust Borer Beetles are often seen on the bright yellow flowers of goldenrod plants, feeding on its pollen in autumn. They can be found in meadows fields and gardens as well as formal landscapes. Locust trees are becoming more popular as an ornamental plant, so the range of this beetle is growing.





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




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Cerambycinae
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          Genus: Megacyllene
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            Species: robiniae
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Megacyllene robiniae
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 11mm to 28mm (0.43" to 1.10")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; yellow; red
Descriptors: striped, flying, zigzag
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 11mm and 28mm
Lo: 11mm
Md: 19.5mm
Hi: 28mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
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Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Locust Borer Beetle 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 Locust Borer Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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