Banded Alder Longhorn Beetle

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Banded Alder Longhorn Beetle, Vancouver Island, BC
Banded Alder Longhorn Beetle, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo By Robert Logan

The Banded Alder Longhorn Beetle feeds on pollen, flowers, leaves, bark, and wood. The larvae are plant-eating and burrow in wood.

The adults lay their eggs in cracks in the bark, and the larvae will bore into the wood due to the powerful jaws that enable them to chew into the wood. Some larvae live in the heartwood of trees, others in stems of herbaceous plants, and some attack the wood in frame buildings. The larvae are white or yellowish, elongated, and almost legless.

Many species are very destructive in the forest, or to fruit trees in orchards. Some attack freshly cut logs. Many long-horned beetles, especially the dark-colored species are nocturnal and are attracted to lights.

The Long-Horned Beetles are easily recognizable due to their long antennae, usually longer than the body. Most species are elongated and cylindrical and many are brightly colored.

These beetles are quite active in the daylight hours, they can be seen in all the BC coastal areas. They are not considered a pest as the larvae, even though they bore into wood, prefer deadwood. The adults like sweet things, like nectar, fruit, and flowers. They are a bit of a problem to the logging industry as the larvae will bore into freshly falling trees, but as these guys are attracted to mostly alder trees on the coast, it’s not much of a problem.

A strange thing about these beetles is their attraction to fresh paint, one theory is that the paint smells like the pheromone that is sent out by the females. Another theory is that fresh paint smell like dying trees. A strange attraction for sure.

The Banded Alder Longhorn Beetle is quite awesome to observe in the wild, quite beautiful that is for sure.

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