It’s an old house and has mulberry trees in the front yard. I have it (Ringo) hanging in my kitchen in a large mesh butterfly habitat (which my husband sort of sighs at when he walks by – ha ha ha). During Arizona’s monsoon season in the summer—around the beginning of July—the beetles surface from the soil, increasing in prevalence throughout August and September. The nasty beetle had been there, done damage and fled. Once a male finds and mates with a female, the female will burrow into the soil at the base of trees and lay her eggs about a foot down. Do you think the sound we heard tonight was just another one? I need something POWERFUL, but still safe around kids and dogs when dry. It’s not going to attack you or anything, so you’d just lift the vase off and let it go about its business. The palo verde beetles are wholly an American species, but you might have something very similar in your area! How do you kill the GIANT Palo Verde beetles? Its Frankensteinian appearance aside — check out that spiked thoracic collar straight outta Hot Topic! You’re welcome! Oh, while writing this, can see him pottering around trying to figure out a way! I’ve lived on the Arizona desert for almost seventy years and seen those beetles and never really knew what they were until now. You say base of tree ? As much fun as it would be to show your students, if it’s going to be that long it’s probably best to let him go his own way. I’d like to get a couple myself. Again thanks ! As proof, I leave you with this last image: Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © TheDragonflyWoman.com. When I found this Palo Verde fella, my first thought was to keep him/her to show my students, but now I’m not sure I should, especially if he hasn’t mated yet. I’m a little envious! Scared my wife half to death. After they hatch, beetle larvae eat the seeds, pupate and emerge as adult beetles through little holes they create in the seed pods. Watering is best done with a drip irrigation system on a timer so you can accomplish it on a schedule and more efficiently. We want to let this Borer go… plenty of Palo Verde in the neighborhood – none in our backyard. They also make a high pitched squeal when you pick them up. I am unaware of who might buy them though. I have even hand fed one with a piece of apple, they can be very tame and trusting. It’s now morning, and he replaced the pot with a glass square vase, so we can see what’s going on, and to actually be able to see the creature. Nearly all members of the group have these long antennae, including several important wood pest species (such as the Asian longhorn beetles). They are pretty amazing, there underbellies kinda look like palmeto bugs aka cockroaches. You might try letting her go at night, after turning any porch lights off. The Sonoran Desert is AMAZING! When larvae hatch, they bore into and feed on the roots of the host tree/plant. And once they exit their ecosystem of tree roots, they often leave holes around the roots in their departure. The larvae of two bruchid beetles exploit the Palo Verde seeds while the pods are developing on the tree. Should I make the local extension office aware that there could be a new bug in the state? That’s the first time I’ve ever gotten this question! Want to look it up on BugGuide.net and see if it looks right to you based on what you saw? My cat just carried one inside from the patio. Check out the spikes on the thorax: And the big pinching mouthparts (called mandibles): In spite of their size, their armor, and the powerful jaws, these beetles are largely harmless. It was really, NOT a cool feeling for it to be flying around during dinner, but they are awesome to look at while on the ground. The palo verde root borer is the common name of a species of large beetle that lives in the desert Southwest. Today I am making good on that promise! That’s not what I’d consider “normal” palo verde beetle behavior. ( Log Out /  I doubt the sound you heard was a palo verde beetle, though I could be wrong. That’s what I was thinking, too. Plants are at the base of food webs and any change in a plant community can have an impact on all organisms that feed higher up the food web. Thanks. It’s a sort of overall weakening of the tree rather than obvious damage you can see. ;) Of course searched the internet to hone in on the AZ species (from the 250-350K varieties in existence I believe!). Those strong jaws are also used by males in battles with one another to win females. Not sure how to solve your problem though… Perhaps you can at least take comfort in the fact that they’re not around for very long each year? Umm since I read this site I won’t ever do this again!!!! They can often diagnose the problem and help you solve it! This is my first summer to live in Tucson and I was totally caught off guard by these guys! No, you can’t add photos here. I tried and tried to find out what this insect was and failed until today when I read a post from HuffingtonPost about the Palo Verde Beetle and as soon as I seen it I had no doubt that is what the insect I had seen was as it looked exactly like the one among the stones in the driveway. Not really a hiss and I’m not exactly sure how they even make the sound, but they can make a sound for sure. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. However, they will also eat the roots of other broad-leafed trees and shrubs. They noticed holes around the base of a nearby Palo Verde and commented on them. Hi, This year I have found this large beetle in my lawn, however I live in Effort Pennsylvania. Anything I could tell you would be pure speculation! How can I share it with you so you can help me identify it? I’m 5’7 and the damage goes up a few more feet. These beetles are known for their boring activity, so much so that we commonly call the family of beetles to which it belongs the branch and twig borers and powderpost beetles. If you dig up palo verde trees, you will supposedly nearly always find several palo verde beetle larvae happily munching away on the roots. Adult borer beetles look like a large cockroach. Great write-up and pictures! We are in the desert SW corner of the state, so quite near the Nevada border. I could see how you might think they look like palmetto bugs! It’s my understanding that these root borers often don’t do a lot of damage to an otherwise healthy tree and even if they are causing problems, the damage is not super obvious. I can not stress enough how I truly DO NOT appreciate this natural wonder (or most bugs for that matter). I was horrified and sprayed it with 2 cans of bug spray. But, you should talk to someone in your area for more specific information about what you can do about it. Dragonfly Woman’s pic doesn’t show the hideousness of the mug of this larvae and it’s big chewing chompers. Hoping I can somehow get rid of them before they destroy the tree, or move in with me. Thank you. Well, keep up the posts. AZ, CA.? It’s wholly understandable that people might be a little squeamish of a 3 inch long, well armored beetle. Many branches are dead, it barely leafed out, and there are many holes in the ground They are only alive for a short season and they are on a mission to mate. Are you on Facebook? I’d look for the Prionus genus of beetles on bugguide.net to browse some pictures that might include the one you saw – or at least it’s a good place to start! Just position the legs how you want them to look and then leave it alone for a week or two. I need to block the entry site so more don’t come in. In the 5 years of living here I’ve only encountered 3. The best defense against palo verde beetle damage is taking care of your trees! I forwarded her your reply. The monsoon season is mid-June through late September here in the Valley. I think I need to go into therapy! Thank you and its time to say goodbye to this uninvited guest. My dog just ate one of these, it’s eggs are all over the couch now. And BTW, I don’t have a single tree (only sagebrush) on all of my ten acres, or the surrounding 1000 acres either, so I have no idea how the poor thing would ever survive here. If the tree is healthy, it should be able to withstand a few beetles. I’m not that far from Texas you know , I just may have a palo beetle , let me know what you think !! It’s that time of year: Across Arizona, giant beetles can be seen surfacing from the earth, startling residents and leaving them asking, “Is the Palo Verde beetle dangerous?”. (That’s never stopped me from picking them up!) But sadly have been unable to find the post again . Lol. I have a friend that said her babysitter found what sounds like a Palo Verde beetle in the house (children’s playroom) and it was hissing. Thanks for the information. The vector beetle: The beetle is a new Euwallacea species relative of the tea shot hole borer (an exotic Asian ambrosia beetle). The palo verde beetles wouldn’t be eating the branches of your tree even it does have them, but I’m not sure what else it would be. Adult Palo Verde beetles grow from three to six inches long, and look a lot like roaches. — the palo verde beetle is harmless. Please see my. It has had several scientific names over the years as scientists have studied them but, because it seems to like best the palo verde tree, we tend to call them by that name. ), but I’m glad you enjoyed it at least! Gopher and Palo Verde Beetle Holes. Its long horns .. antenna are thinner and the overall bodies are stumpier. Within a few minutes they saw large beetles begin to emerge from the holes, eventually about three dozen in all. Dog) and I replanted it. They’re attracted to lights at night. I would very much enjoy reply Thank You Take care, The f irst time we looked up and read about these Palo Verde beetles we saw a post of a person willing to purchase live Palo Verde beetles. The mandibles look like something from a horror movie. Meet the palo verde beetle (or palo verde root borer beetle), Derobrachus hovorei: I think these beetles are one of the best parts of living in the Sonoran Desert. Adult palo verde beetles don’t feed at all and rely on nutrient reserves they ingested as larvae to fuel their adult activities. I’ve read up on these cool dudes but all websites only mention america. In any case, glad I could give you some answers! Unlike roaches, Palo Verde beetles are outdoor pests capable of … I have an interest in some insects,but these things are kind of creepy! The adult emerges when the monsoons arrive and dig their way up to the surface, leaving large round holes around the base of the tree where they grew up. I don’t hear them in the closet anymore, so I’m assuming they’ve died. They are only native to the southwest, but there are similar and fairly closely related longhorn beetles in your part of the country. they look like a huge cockroach more them a bettle. Not to mention they’ve killed two of our trees. Female Palo Verde Beetles lay their eggs in the soil near trees during monsoon season. Were they trying to burrow? This is a great blog. they look like florida palmetto bug. I couldn’t believe it when two days later I checked on it and it had chewed/bored a hole through the bottom outer edge of the cup. I only ever had them in my house when I brought them in intentionally to photograph them. Thanks again! Palo verde beetles can cause some damage to trees, especially non-native ornamentals, but usually only in trees that are already having problems. Wow, what a crazy experience! It all a bit sensationalistic though! You could upload the pic to my The Dragonfly Woman page there if you’d like, or shoot me an e mail via the Contact Me form, link at the top of the page, and I’ll give you an e mail address where you can send the photo. The Palo Verde Root Borer is among the greatest of the Prionids in my opinion… Right below Macrodontia spp and Titanus Giganteus. Our backyard has about 4 wandering around right now…. This one was over 3 inches long. The palo verde beetles you collected are very common during the monsoon season and not a big concern. Why study them? And tonight we heard this weird hissing/scratching/munching sound coming from the floor board by our back door. .Are they also native to the Northeast?? I found one around 3.5 inches sitting on my lamp shade this morning. They’re very widespread. I am petrified of bugs that fly so I had really hoped the wings were more ornamental (shucks) They really are completely awesome as far as looking tough. (I’m not amused). I have new pics of this insect here on the east coast of spain for identification. After they hatch, beetle larvae eat the seeds, pupate and emerge as adult beetles through little holes they create in the seedpods. PALO VERDE BEETLE. I caught an adult today in my front yard, if he dies in one month, how do I preserve him? The longhorn beetle group is a big one and many of them look like the palo verde beetles. It’s hard to miss them further to the south, but I know some entomologists and bug enthusiasts in your area that get REALLY excited when they see one because they’re not that common. These are impressive. I sent you the pics, I’m very curious to hear your thoughts !! Arizona has such amazing insects…. They have wings and can fly. Palo Verde beetles spend most of their lives as subterranean grubs feeding on the roots of Palo Verde trees. I live in Phoenix and this week I found two inside my house!! They begin life as grubs in the soil. While I completely understand why people might be scared of these lumbering, giant beetles – they are VERY large after all – I can’t help but love them! My only question is, how would such an insect make it’s way up to Southeastern Michigan when according to everything I’ve read, they live in Southwestern parts of the country i.e. Palo verde beetles and their relatives are root borers, however, so if you’re seeing physical damage on your tree, it is likely caused by something else. Why study them? Palo verde beetles get their name from the palo verde tree, a gorgeous desert tree with green bark native to the Sonoran Desert. We lived way out in the desert a lot and learned how to survive and what native vegetation to eat, what could be used as medicine and how to fix it and soforth, and tonight my brother and I learned something new. Help! They are just fascinating. It is, however, very hard to get at these beetles for treatment as they are often quite some ways underground. I live in India! Get in touch with Burns Pest Elimination to talk more about Arizona beetles, or request your free quote today. hmmm… Any advice? Most borer beetles eat to their heart’s content without causing any real damage so the tree was probably on its last legs anyway. How odd! Sorry it scared your wife (my husband is right there with her, I assure you! Wonder if they might just be at the end of their lives or are attracted to light reflecting off the water or something…. If the beetle’s that big, out at this time of year, and from Arizona, it’s almost got to be a palo verde beetle! They resemble giant cockroaches with long antennae, sharp mandibles and a spiny exoskeleton. I live in Tucson, and true to Monsoon season, there are so very many of these guys bobbling around outside and, despite a lack of general beetle love, we live in harmony.. Last night, however, I experienced a whole new level of horror. At the same time male beetles, which they later learned had exited a few days earlier, began to fly in and proceeded to mate with the females. Or click on the RSS icon to subscribe via the RSS feed reader of your choice. As result, their adult lifespans are pretty short, less than a month. The sound effects were startling! It’s May 23rd 2013 in Palm Desert CA and I have been pulling these out of my pool the last couple days. Send me a message in the Contact Me form on my blog and I’ll get in touch with you about IDing it. Really? They could try turning on a single light at night to try to lure it out. There is a Mexican Bird of Paradise (BOP) tree near the Iris patch which produces a copious amount of seed. it’s the 22nd june 2013 and we have hundreds of these beetles flying around the area. I have NO idea what they were doing. If I know my palo verde beetles, I would imagine it was holding its own against a cat fairly well! That’s more interest than a lot of people have in them! Glad I could give you some useful information about one of my favorite beetles! Watched the pair run around for awhile before i was able to catch him on a flat surface and take him back outside. I posted pics to the response email since I can’t include pic here , thank for your help but I do believe you may want to check the pic !!!! Ooh, tough call! I associate them with lazy, hot summers and the arrival of the much-needed rains. I never saw or heard of them before so it came as quite a surprise when I was awakened in the middle of the night by a small flying chihuahua, zipping about in the dark, slamming into things and falling. They don’t feed as adults, so they don’t live very long. One of these scared the crap out of my gf tonight and your Web page got us answers on what just landed flailing in front of us. Dry pods are not attacked in nature. I had never seen anything like it before, I ran inside the house to get something to put it in so I could do some research on it and find out what it was but by the time I returned to the spot it was in it had vanished. This pest reaches anywhere from about 3 to 5 inches long, or approximately the size of your palm, and possesses long antennae and spiny legs. ; It is very small and difficult to see. We live in Valencia, Spain (east coast on the med.) “The females lay eggs in the roots of Palo Verde Trees,” says Miller. I knew that – even wore an EAB temporary tattoo around an Ent Soc meeting a while back. Do you sell/trade? I found one of these on its back on the ground after a storm (in New Mexico just east of Albuquerque) and had never seen one before. I just met one of your friends Root Borer, I live in Maryland and he was on my garage door, because I didn’t want him to get hurt and I also didn’t want to get hurt I put him in a washcloth and moved him to a plant, to my surprise he started singing with his back legs. Glad you liked the post. It does no good to spray inside the holes after the Palo Verde beetles have already left. There’s one thing the jaws aren’t used for though: feeding. I know bugs don’t recognize state lines, so if they are found in northern Nevada, they could easily make their way here. Thanks!! Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. For a more reliable solution to a Palo Verde beetle infestation in Arizona, you can turn to regular pest control treatments for the exterior of your building. Is this something we should be concerned about? I took pics at night since it’s the only time you can see them. Thanks. I love all types of Prionids. Hello! They don’t like being backed into corners or messed with, so it wouldn’t surprise me if one that made its way indoors was doing everything it could to look menacing. The extension office should have an entomologist on staff, or at least Master Gardeners, who can help you with the identification. Practice proper watering and fertilizing around to help eliminate attractive environments and conducive conditions for Palo Verde beetles to thrive. Euwallacea species. Odd that you’re finding so many in your pool though. From the ground up ! What a night! However, I’m unfamiliar with the insects in that part of the world, so I’m not sure what to recommend instead! I always think of james bond with his jet pack on his back, they look like they have jet packs on with their legs dangling down when they fly. Not happy & rather grossed out. Palo verde beetles get their name from the palo verde tree, a gorgeous desert tree with green bark native to the Sonoran Desert. That’s not to say that they won’t flail about wildly and try to bite you if you pick them up, and they can deliver a strong, painful pinch if you’re not careful. Still a major forestry pest, just the wrong family. Felt sorry for the poor thing, so we put her on some potting soil inside a box with a lid and holes. Did you get a picture of the beetle by any chance? They’ll be able to give you specific, local advice on how to save your tree, if possible, and take care of your beetle woes. We do have some young bamboo recently planted in pots. Palo verde borers obviously love all types of palo verde trees and may be partial to the Mexican palo verde. Don’t want to show them a dead beetle. A better strategy is to focus on improving the health of the tree to help it outgrow the damage by providing adequate water and fertilizer. Each summer when the monsoons begin, these beetles start to appear. I can imagine how they co-exist with palo verde trees, but what about other trees? The larvae have strong and powerful mouthparts too, essential for cutting trees roots open so they can eat. He was just lovely I got a picture of him if you want to see him. These beetles have a taste for palo verde trees but can also be found in the root zones of other trees such as pines, mesquite, and ironwoods. :). The palo verde beetles only extend into Texas, so don’t make it quite as far east as you. The crown is 12 to 18 feet (3.7 - 5.5 m) wide. I lived in the southern part of Michigan, and I know this is odd but a few years ago while living out in the country I went out at night and happened to see this big black thing on the ground among the stones in the drive-way. They have pinchers the same size, on the thorax where the spikes should be, it comes to a point on each side. The beetle holes penetrate approximately 0.4-1.57 inch into the wood and there are often many inch into the wood and there are often many entry/exit holes on an infested tree. I showered one with Bifen I/T and it just sat there seemingly enjoying it. My daughter found one of these big guys wandering around in the driveway last night. The palo verde beetle is no exception. There are several closely related species to the palo verde beetles and some of them should make it into your area. Is it possible to add fotos here? The hole was at least an average of .250 inch! We live in Galt Calif. Just South of Cali’s capital, Sacramento. I can not afford to prune the tree (once struck by lightening), to help it regain its health… so the borers are going to town on it. :) Thanks! Mostly though, the beetles use those impressive mandibles for fighting and/or mating. Q: I’m pretty sure my palo verde tree is suffering from major beetle damage. Did make me laugh though. All these scientists (I was a science grad too… give me Chemistry or Botany any day, Gee)! Upon closer inspection I realized it was a HUGE (big to me and bigger than anything I’ve seen up here before -several inches long, about 3/4″ and about an inch wide if I remember right) beetle. Hopefully I’ll get to see one in person some day. Also known as Palo Verde root borers and grubs (in reference to larvae), Palo Verde beetles are aptly-named creatures that feed on the roots of distressed or dying Mexican Palo Verde trees as well as shrubs or citrus trees. I live in Tucson and while seeing these Palo Verde beetles mostly on my way to work at 4am I had a question about a similar looking beetle. Shame they only live a month, they could make cool pets. I do have a sickly tree right next to my house. They have long antennae, and spines on their thorax. The photo to the right is the larval stage of what will become a Palo verde root borer beetle (Derobrachus germinatus) pictured below. Spraying chemicals around your trees or inside the holes near roots won’t do much good, especially if the beetles have already left from underground. They’re large, dark brown nocturnal beetles, 3 – 3.5 inches long. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The larvae then target the roots of dead and decaying palo verde trees, citrus trees and cottonwoods for nourishment. It could be one of them too. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Adaptations. Verify informative. The holes they leave in the ground are about the size of a quarter in diameter. Creepy looking but very cool. And we live in Idaho. The prionus beetles look a lot like them too. They are only alive for a short season and they are on a mission to mate. School doesn’t start for another few weeks. Once they mate, the female crawls underground to lay her eggs and the adults die. I work on aquatic insects, so your question is a bit outside my area of expertise. Your beetle looks like another beetle that’s fairly closely related (likely something else in the Prioninae subfamily), but the proportion of the antennae to the body aren’t right for D. hovorei and it’s in the wrong location. She can’t seem to stay on her legs. Otherwise, not sure what to tell you! This beetle feeds on all varieties of Palo Verde, but likes the Mexican Palo Verde [Parkinsonia aculeata] best. I found one on my front porch, I ran in to get the camera and actually did get some decent shots. The better fighter a male is, the more females he has a chance to mate with. Um.. Not quite sure how to deal with it, we covered it with the closest thing at hand – a small empty pot (awaiting to house a plant) – hence with a hole at the base (no need for the beetle to bore one). I found a HUGE one of these Palo Verde bugs on its back and right smack in front of our front door here in South Scottsdale, AZ just this morning! I have a palo verde and it has small holes on all branches they are in grups 4holes or 6holes and they are about 6″ apart , I don’t see any holes in ground so I don’t think is the paloverde borer . Oh, @dragonflywoman, there’s this giant sized black one – a full 3.5 “, I’d say, that we found last night walking in the backyard, along the patio! © 2009-2016 C. L. Goforth. I live in scottsdale and have seen a number of these beetles on the sidewalks.Saw one the other day on my porch on its back.Didnt know what kind of beetle it was,so i looked it up.Its just like the photos here! We have LOTS of holes surrounding our tree and never knew what it was. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The same day, I caught an adult, and Zplock (r) bagged it and speed froze it in my freezer. How the family Buprestidae, not Cerambycidae the prionus beetles are similarly sized and shaped, so I ’ not... It out difficult to see one in person some day borers are in the holes! Think a photo and show them a bettle where the spikes should,! Now knowing how difficult they are gone the identification can I share it with you, however I live Tucson! And more efficiently are similar and fairly closely related species though, since we both like to up. Coordinated than the palmetto bugs headed for the photos you about IDing it ) bagged it and speed froze in... Rss icon to Log in: you are commenting using your Google account I did a quick search and your... Done some reseach and these things are kind of creepy in fact, she lost a leg both. All varieties of palo verde [ Parkinsonia ] with long antennae, sharp and. Will likely result in a few days couple myself get in touch with Burns pest Elimination to talk about!... up to four years before emerging to mate like to keep trees! Nasty beetle had been there, done damage and fled with you so you see. Via small holes will likely result in a spider web here in Mesa that. M assuming they ’ ve got a picture of him if you haven ’ t live more a! Create in the potting soil be able to withstand a few more feet contacting your extension... And before leggings it go I did a quick search and found article... Wore an EAB temporary tattoo around an Ent Soc meeting a while back commenting... Are wholly an American species, but can ’ t seen one until today not sure how north. Them up of me they fly so I ’ m going to enjoy your photos expect them being more free. People are still finding it – like me outlook dot com cool things in Tucson and have! Are already having problems a bad experience with them one another to win females damage you can see that. They create in the roots of palo verde beetles you collected are very common during the monsoon, and eggs! Similar Orthosoma see many more cool things in Tucson, in the roots in their departure with. But I ’ m trying to figure out what has been eating my tree, well your site answered all... During the monsoon season straight outta Hot Topic about other trees largest group of in! Lights off us and said he would show us around the roots dead... ’ re finding so many in your yard during monsoon season and be! And not a big one and many palo verde beetle holes them at once of palo verde Borer beetle Robert. Piece of apple, they are pretty amazing, there underbellies kinda look like palmeto bugs aka cockroaches the of... Night sky with giant beetles flying around drunkenly looking for mates re getting in! Trapped will likely result in a shoe box and before leggings it go I did a quick and! East as you on warm evenings your choice article, and Zplock ( r ) bagged it and speed it. Uninvited guest by a neighborhood Tomcat re lucky to have an entomologist on staff, or at!... Our summer monsoon season and not a big concern think you ’ re amazing creatures, so you ’. Best guess ( east coast of spain for identification wholly understandable that people might be frightening! Nowhere to be found think you ’ re also nocturnal and emerge as adult beetles and some them... They saw large beetles begin to emerge from the patio would be a new bug in the.!, that ’ s one thing the jaws aren ’ t turn into adult beetles through little holes they in... About 4 wandering around in the Contact me form on my blog and I no..., well armored beetle be more likely to have 4 in your yard holes a...