Redheaded Ash Borer (April 5, 2013)

Springtime, and there have been three submissions of redheaded ash borer in the past three weeks. The reason we are getting identification requests now is that the overwintering pupae have developed into adults in trees, cut wood and firewood, and also because these beetles are attracted to porch lights. These beetles deposit their eggs under the bark of dead and dying hardwood trees, and the Banded Ash Borer, a close relative, can lay eggs in mesquite. (We are not short of mesquite in Texas.) The larvae consume the wood as they develop, and adults eventually emerge to mate and again lay eggs in other trees.  Established, healthy trees are not at risk, but newly planted and weakened trees are. Oklahoma State University has a good fact sheet here: http://entoplp.okstate.edu/ddd/insects/redheadedashborer.htm . 

Redheaded ash borer. Photo Credit: Mike Quinn, TexasEnto.net.

Redheaded ash borer. Photo Credit: Mike Quinn, TexasEnto.net.