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Rustic Borer (Xylotrechus colonus)

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

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Active day and night, the Rustic Borer is one of the most common borer beetles east of the Mississippi River.

Updated: 01/05/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Wide, black and white bands on the wing coverings of the Rustic Borer are its most obvious markings. On closer inspection, the top of each wing covering also has a yellow line that bends at a right angle. The 'neck' is round and may have red undertones. This round neck also has yellow patches: two by the eyes and two by the wings. The eyes may also show bright yellow marks near them. An overcoat of hairs may give the whole beetle a powdery appearance.

The larvae of this beetle bore just under the bark of dead or dying trees. Though their tunneling behavior does not damage healthy trees, they may be present in fresh firewood. It is not considered a pest, so managing or controlling its population is not necessary. Adults come to lights at night, but they also move about during the daytime. ©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect antennae icon
Flying insect icon
Rounded insect body 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: Xylotrechus
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            Species: colonus

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Xylotrechus colonus
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 8mm to 15mm (0.31" to 0.59")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; white; gray; yellow; tan
Descriptors: wide pale bands; zigzag; orange antennae; orange feet; thin yellow line; right angle; round neck; black and white; flying; red head and neck

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 8mm (0.3in) and 15mm (0.6in)
Lo: 8mm
Md: 11.5mm
Hi: 15mm

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 Rustic 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 Rustic Borer. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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