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Spotted Tree Borer Beetle (Synaphaeta guexi)

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

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Image Credit: Robin M. from Brentwood, CA
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The pesky Spotted Tree Borer Beetle attacks trees at the larval stage, making sick trees even sicker.

Updated: 07/15/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The white and black Spotted Tree Borer has complementary bands on its antennae. The freckled wing coverings each have two irregular black marks bordered in white. Eggs for the Spotted Tree Borer are laid by females on a variety of weakened trees like oak, maple, willow, apple, pear, and poplar. Larvae hatch and begin tunneling into the bark and eventually the heartwood, leaving trails of frass (feces and wood shavings) in their wake. The tunnels break into the cambium tissue and this causes the tree to leak sap. Trees that were already weak from things like severe drought or other infestations can die. The beetles are also found in dead trees that may eventually become firewood or furniture. Spotted Tree Borer adults emerge from the wood in spring or fall, sometimes from a stack of freshly cut firewood.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Hairy insect icon
Harmful insect icon
Patterned insect 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: Synaphaeta
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            Species: guexi
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Synaphaeta guexi
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 9mm to 25mm (0.35" to 0.98")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: white; black; gray
Descriptors: spots, bands, hairy, harmful, flying

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 9mm (0.4in) and 25mm (1.0in)
Lo: 9mm
Md: 17mm
Hi: 25mm
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 Spotted Tree 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 Spotted Tree Borer Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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