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Northeastern Pine Sawyer (Monochamus notatus)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Northeastern Pine Sawyer

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Only fallen pine trees are used by the Northeastern Pine Sawyer Beetle, the largest long-horned beetle in the east.

Updated: 01/04/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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 showcases 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.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Cerambycidae
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          Genus: Monochamus
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            Species: notatus

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Monochamus notatus
Other Name(s): Northeaster Sawyer Beetle
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 25mm to 55mm (0.98" to 2.16")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; gray
Descriptors: huge; large; long; bumpy; flocking; flying; chewing; pine tree; long antennae; red dots; red mites; powder; neck point; thorns

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 25mm (1.0in) and 55mm (2.2in)
Lo: 25mm
Md: 40mm
Hi: 55mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Northeastern Pine Sawyer 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 Northeastern Pine Sawyer. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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