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Red Oak Borer (Enaphalodes rufulus)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Red Oak Borer



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The larvae of the Red Oak Borer Beetle make a mess of good timber, wreaking havoc on many industries that rely on unmarred oak wood.



Updated: 07/09/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Like all Longhorn Beetles, the Red Oak Borer Beetle has antennae that are much longer than the beetle's actual body. (The orange coloring on the face in some of the photos is believed to be a mass of mites or other small insect and is not related to the common name of the Red Oak Borer.) They are brown and tan and covered with fine hairs. Adults do not attack wood themselves. As with many borer beetles, the young offspring create pest issues.

The tiny larvae of this beetle bore into weak, but still living Red Oak, White Oak, and other species of oak trees. Oak trees that have been cut down for commercial use for flooring, cabinetry, and furniture are prime examples of this type of wood. Once harvested, the logs are allowed to dry in lumber yards. These places have now become prime real estate for the Red Oak Beetle. It is considered a major pest in the lumber industry because the larvae compromise the strength and integrity of the wood, rendering it less attractive and less strong. While still usable, the quality of wood is determined by its flaws, much like a diamond. Flawed wood can see its value almost cut in half if infested and damaged by the tunneling of the beetle larvae within it. Removing known infested trees from the drying pile is a practice that has greatly helped reduce the damage to standing logs. Signs of infestation are easy to recognize with practice. Some things to look for include: bark discoloration, exit holes, shavings of frass kicked out of the holes by the larvae, and weeping sap.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Hairy insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Cerambycidae
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          Genus: Enaphalodes
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            Species: rufulus
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Enaphalodes rufulus
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 9mm to 27mm (0.35" to 1.06")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: red; brown; orange; tan; ivory
Descriptors: hairy, flying
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 9mm and 27mm
Lo: 9mm
Md: 18mm
Hi: 27mm
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
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Red Oak 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 Red Oak Borer. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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