Ivorymarked beetle, Eburia quadrigeminata
Pictures and information given by Mark (I need him to call me back and give me his last name so I can give him credit) in Florida! Mark says the the larva can live for several years and only get in the wood AFTER it has been cut if the bark is left on it. He also says that heating the logs to 135 degrees F for one hour can kill the larva. We are looking into it. We still know that Cypress is the MOST durable wood that money can buy, but we want to give the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!

There are no secrets here because......

Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny.
 -- Robert Heinlein


or it is at least the beginning of what you find at the south end of a north bound bull.

This Picture is from Mark's house which is three years old. The above beetle is drilling a cypress timber. I have never seen this before in 7 years of looking. According to Mark this does NOT damage the wood structurally, but is a pain nonetheless.

Ivorymarked beetle, Eburia quadrigeminata (Say)

http://entmuseum9.ucr.edu/ent133/ebeling/ebel5-2.html#roundheaded borers species list

A common eastern species on hickory, locust, and ash, often attracting attention in resort areas, is the fourspotted longhorn, Eburia quadrigeminata (Say) (figure 123, D). It is 1.5 to 2.5 cm long, light brown to tan, and easily recognized because of the 2 pairs of elevated, ivory-colored swellings on, and the 2 spines at the tip of, each elytron. The life cycle usually requires 2 years, but this species has also been found emerging from flooring, sills, and other wood members 10 to 15 years after the materials were installed (Chamberlin, 1949).


Unusual "Pest Interception"

Florida recently reported the detection of Eburia quadrigeminate (Say), a longhorn beetlw, from inside a chair purchased from a furniture company. The homwowners has the chair for 5 years in their homr and one day they heard chewing. The pest control operator pulled the beetle out of the chair. Tri-ology 34(5), Nov.-Dec., 1995


Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet
1991 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1090

Woodboring, Roundheaded and Flatheaded Borer Adults


William F. Lyon

Roundheaded Borers or Longhorned Beetles (common name) - Cerambycidae (scientific name)
Flatheaded or Metallic Wood Borers (common name) - Buprestidae (scientific name)

Most roundheaded and flatheaded borers are found within a structure shortly after it is built.

Adult beetles that emerge inside the home often end up near lights or at a window. They do not bite or sting. Most will not reinfest structural wood, especially when it is painted, varnished, waxed or finished. The old house borer is an exception. Some adults enter homes on firewood or are attracted to home lights and accidentally gain entry.


Adult roundheaded borers vary in length from 8 to 76mm. They are elongate and usually cylindrical (some flattened) with long antennae, which give them the name 'longhorned beetles.' Beetles attacking softwoods can be drab and unattractive, whereas beetles on hardwoods are brightly colored and conspicuously marked. Larvae are whitish to cream-colored, thin-skinned, segmented and 9 to 50mm long with the head partly withdrawn.

Adult flatheaded borers are 6 to 34mm long, boat-shaped and flattened. Many are beautifully marked or metallic colored and are often referred to as 'metallic wood borers.' Wing covers are ridged or roughened. Larvae have flattened plates on the upper and lower surface of the first segment behind the head. They are whitish to yellow, with no legs and one to two inches long. Abdominal segments are smaller than thorax segments.

Bronze Birch Borer and Locust Borer

Redheaded ash borer, Neoclytus acuminatus (Fabricius)
An elongate, slender, cylindrical beetle, 6 to 8mm long, reddish-brown with yellow crossbands on the wing covers. The thorax bears four to six small transverse ridges on the median longitudinal ridge. Larvae feed in the unseasoned wood of hardwood trees, honeycombing the sapwood and packing mines tightly with granular frass. Primary host trees include ash, oak, hickory, persimmon and hackberry.

Locust borer, Megacyllene robiniae (Forster)
A medium-sized, robust beetle from 14 to 18mm long, black and marked with yellow crossbands. One band on the wing cover is W-shaped. The thorax is wider than it is long. Larvae feed beneath the bark and in the wood of black locust, and exude frass. In the autumn, adults are found feeding on the pollen of goldenrod. Larvae are a serious pest of black locust.

Painted hickory borer, Megacyllene caryae (Gahan)
Adults resemble locust borers. Eggs are laid in spring on bark scales of logs cut in winter. Larvae feed in freshly cut wood of hickory, osage-orange, hackberry, grape and ash; large amounts of granular frass are exuded. Hickory firewood held over the summer can be seriously riddled with adult emergence.

Ivorymarked beetle, Eburia quadrigeminata (Say)
Adults are elongate, subcylindrical, pale-yellow and 14 to 24mm long. Each wing cover has two small, longitudinal, ivory spots close together at the base; there is a second similar pair just behind the middle. The thorax has two blackish tubercles on top and a short, sharp spine on each side. Larvae are true heartwood borers, preferring dry, solid wood where it excavates large, contorted mines tightly packed with frass. Oak, hickory, ash, chestnut, maple and cypress can become infested. Beetles sometimes emerge from flooring and furniture several years after they have been placed in a building.

Elm borer, Saperda tridentata Olivier
Adults are 9 to 14mm long and densely clothed with grayish pubescence. The thorax and wings bear narrow orange stripes on the sides. The wings have three oblique crossbars. Adults lay eggs in bark of weakened or dying elm trees. Larvae bore beneath the bark, filling the mines with fibrous frass and completely destroying the inner bark and cambium. Park and shade trees are severely injured, especially old, mature, unhealthy trees. Limbs are attacked first.

Tanbark borer, Phymatodes testaceus (L.)
Adults are elongate, depressed beetles 8 to 13mm long. The thorax is rounded and yellowish with the wing covers either blue or yellowish. Larvae feed beneath the bark of dead oaks and sometimes in stored hemlock bark. Larvae can mine entirely in the bark of stored and piled wood, causing economic loss. Use bark within three years.

Rustic borer, Xylotrechus colonus (Fabricius)
Adults are dark-brown beetles up to 8 to 17mm long with irregular variable whitish or yellowish markings.

Southern pine sawyer, Monochamus titillator (Fabricius)
Adults are large, elongate, cylindrical beetles 15 to 30mm long, black to brownish-black and often mottled with whitish or grayish pubescence. The thorax is cylindrical with a spine at each side, and the antennae and legs are very long. Larvae bore beneath the bark of recently killed and felled pine, spruce and balsam fir trees by filling the mines with fibrous frass.

Blackhorned pine borer, Callidium antennatum hesperum Casey
Adults are flattened, blackish-blue beetles 9 to 14mm long with the thorax rounded and indented on each side of the middle. Larvae feed beneath the bark and in the sapwood of dry coniferous wood, making extensive mines and exuding large amounts of granular frass. Feeding occurs primarily in pines, spruces, hemlocks, junipers and cedars. Lumber sawed and stored is often injured.

Bronze birch borer, Agrilus anxius Gory
Adults are small beetles 6 to 10mm long, flattened and green-bronze in color. Larvae attack dying or weakened birches, beech and aspens. White and paper birches grown as shade and ornamental trees are injured most seriously. Larval mines are always packed tightly with fine, sawdust-like pellets or frass arranged in arc-like layers. Beetle emergence holes are D-shaped.

Control Measures

Identification of the beetle, evaluation of the extent of damage and structural characteristics of the infested building are needed to plan a control program. Since most beetles do not reinfest structural timbers, control is not needed. Most control programs are limited to temperature treatment, replacing infested wood, spot treatment with a residual insecticide or, in severe infestations, fumigation.

To prevent beetles from emerging from firewood, bring in only an amount that can be burned within three to five days. Always inspect antique furniture, picture frames and wood brought from foreign countries for evidence of emergence holes, frass, larval infestations or any other signs that might indicate an insect infestation.

All educational programs conducted by Ohio State University Extension are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, gender, age, disability or Vietnam-era veteran status.
Keith L. Smith, Associate Vice President for Ag. Adm. and Director, OSU Extension.
TDD No. 800-589-8292 (Ohio only) or 614-292-1868

University of Florida Book of Insect Records
Chapter 12 Longest Life Cycle

Yong Zeng

Department of Entomology & Nematology
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611-0620

8 May 1995

Under exceptional conditions, some individuals of wood-boring beetles (Ceram-bycidae and Buprestidae) have the longest life cycle. One Buprestis aurulenta larva emerged after 51 years. Three species of 17-year periodical cicadas, Magicicada septendecim, M. cassini, and M. septendecula, are well-known to have the longest synchronized development times in natural conditions.

Life cycle is defined as the sequence of events from egg to reproducing adult. Metamorphosis is a characteristic of insect life cycles, and the different stages become distinct units of development time. Each of these units must face environmental exigencies often quite different from those of the others. Insects have solved the problems of synchronizing life cycles to seasonal periodicities and responding to other biotic and abiotic factors with an impressive array of tactical alternatives. These include flexibility in diapause and development rates (Dingle 1986). On the other hand, there are many cases in which life cycles are made longer by prolonged development time rather than diapause. This paper is a literature review of the longest life cycles in the class Insecta.


CD-ROM versions of Biological Abstracts and AGRICOLA were searched from year 1989 to the present. The more useful resources were personal communications with scientists, and secondary literature.


In some insect species, different individuals have different spans of life cycle depending on individual inhabited environment. On the other hand, some species have an unchangeable period for their life cycle regardless of inhabited environment.

Many recorded cases of prolonged of life cycle are in Coleoptera. The wood boring beetle, Eburia quadrigeminata (Ceram-bycidae), when feeding in dry wood, may have its development so greatly retarded that adults emerge from furniture and flooring many years after manufacture or installation. Delayed emergence of E. quadrigeminata was discovered from a birch bookcase 40 years old (Jaques 1918). Huguenin (1915) was the first to record a development time of Buprestis aurulenta (Buprestidae) from structural timbers as long as 26 years after infestation. Thirty-two additional cases of delayed emergence in Buprestis were presented by Smith (1962) , with 11 of the total cases between 26 and 51 years. For some of these cases, infestation by later direct attack was suggested. However, considering the potential of these wood beetle species for prolonged larval development, Smith (1962) believed that when wood beetles emerge from a structure, it indicates larval development at least equivalent to the age of the structural members they emerged from, unless local and more recent repairs have introduced the infestation.

Compared with the lack of convincing concrete evidence of prolonged development time for these two beetle species, the periodical cicada’s requirement of 17 years to complete nymphal development is well documented. Marlatt (1907) studied the development in the 17-year nymphs by digging up specimens from the same grove of trees over a period of 17 years. This seventeen year development time is shared by three distinct species-Magicicada septen-decim (Linnaeus), M. cassini (Fisher), and M. septendecula Alexander and Moore. The three species are sympatric, but are separated microspatially by preferring different but overlapping forest types. Within the same brood, emergences co-occur with definite synchrony.


As described above, some cases of prolonged development time are extrinsically mediated by direct effects the environment, such as Buprestis aurulenta. Smith (1962) suggested there are innate differences in rate of development amongst individuals of the same B. aurulenta brood; some have short rates of development and others prolonged develop-ment under the same environmental conditions. Obviously, the poor nutritional quality of dead wood causes significantly prolonged development (Haack & Slansky 1987). As, Howard (1942) pointed out, under these exceptional conditions, the larvae of certain wood-boring beetles (Cerambycidae and Buprestidae) in furniture and manufactured wooden articles may have the longest lives recorded among insects.

Conversely, for three species of 17-year periodical cicadas, the prolonged development time is the result of an endogenous mechanism. Cicadas feed exclusively on xylem fluid as nymphs and as adults (Cheung and Marshall 1973). Slow development in cicadas could be comprehensible due to their exceedingly dilute diet of xylem fluid that is energetically expensive to procure (White and Strehl 1978; Lloyd 1984). Furthermore, the nymphs may only be able to feed during the limited period when xylem pressures are positive or when the negative pressures are not impossible to overcome. In addition, the size of the cibarial pump may limit the rate of ingestion. Karban (1986) advanced a detailed hypothesis for the relationship between nutrition and prolonged development in cicadas. The mechanism that maintains the precise developmental periodicity is not simply a uniform determined development rate. The first individuals to complete their growth have to wait to emerge until the ‘scheduled’ number of years has elapsed (Lloyd and Dybas 1966).

In summary, although 17-year cicadas are well-known for their long life cycle in natural habitats, some wood beetle species definitely have the longest life cycles in exceptional habitats.


I thank Drs. Thomas J. Walker, James E. Lloyd, and Mike Thomas for helpful advice.

References Cited

Cheung, W. W. K. & A. T. Marshall. 1973. Water and ion regulation in cicadas in relation to xylem feeding. J. Insect Physiol. 19: 1801-1816.

Dingle, H. 1986. The evolution of insect life cycle syndromes, pp.187-203. In F. Taylor & R. Karban [eds.], The evolution of insect life cycles. Springer-Verlag, New York.

Dybas, H. S. & M. Lloyd. 1974. The habitats of 17-year periodical cicadas ( Homoptera: Cicadida: Magicicada spp.). Ecol. Monogr. 44: 279-324.

Haack, R. A. & F. Slansky Jr. 1986. Nutritional ecology of wood-feeding Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, and Hymenoptera, pp. 449-486. In F. Slansky Jr. & J. G. Rodriguez [eds.], Nutritional ecology of insects, mites, spiders and related invertebrates. Wiley Interscience, New York.

Howard, L. O. 1942. Ageing of insects, pp. 49-65. In E. V. Cowdry [eds.], Problems of ageing, biological and medical aspects. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore.

Huguenin, J. C. 1915. An observation on a buprestid. Entomol. News 26: 364-365. [Not seen; cited by Linsley 1943, p. 349.]

Jaques, H. E. 1918. A long-life wood-boring beetle. Proc. Iowa Acad. Sci. 25: 175. [Not seen; cited by Linsley 1962, p. 67.]

Karban, R. 1986. Prolonged development in cicadas, pp. 222-235. In F. Taylor & R. Karban [eds.], The evolution of insect life cycles. Spring-Verlag, New York.

Linsley, E. G. 1943. Delayed emergence of Buprestis aurulenta from structural timbers. J. Econ. Entomol. 36: 348-348.

Linsley, E. G. 1962. The Cerambycidae of North America: part III. Taxonomy and classification of the subfamily Ceram-bycinae, tribes Opsimini through Mega-derini. University of California Press, Berkeley, Calif.

Lloyd, M. & H. S. Dybas. 1966. The periodical cicada problem. II. Evolution. Evolution 20: 466-505.

Lloyd, M. 1984. Periodical cicadas. Antenna 8: 79-91.

Marlatt, H. B. 1907. The periodical cicada. USDA Bur. Entomol. Bull. 71: 1-181.

Smith, D. N. 1962. Prolonged larval development in Buprestis aurulenta L. (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). A review with new cases. Can. Entomol. 94: 586-593.

White, J. & C. Strehl. 1978. Xylem feeding by periodical cicada nymphs on tree roots. Ecol. Entomol. 3: 323-327.

Copyright 1995 Yong Zeng. This chapter may be freely reproduced and distributed for noncommercial purposes. For more information on copyright, see the Preface.


b. Wood borers. Wood borers belong to the family Cerambycidae. Larvae are called round-headed borers; adults are called long-horned beetles. These beetles feed mainly on dry wood. Their chief role in nature is to destroy dead trees to permit new growth. In structural woods, they can be distinguished from all other wood-boring beetles by a few prominent characteristics. The larvae are large ( 1 inch or more long), fleshy, thin-skinned, white or yellowish, and more or less cylindrical. They may taper posteriorly, but this tapering is very gradual. Larvae may or may not have legs. Within this family, the oviposition habits of a species are one indicator of its specific destructiveness. Some species' eggs are laid in deep crevices of bark; others are deposited within the bark; still others, like the eggs of the old house borer, are deposited in season checks of exposed wood. These beetles may oviposit where trees are felled (certain borers attacking only recently cut wood), and the use of infested wood for construction can result in serious destruction later. Borers that attack only freshly cut wood normally develop in a year or two. But if attacked wood is stored or used under dry conditions, the larval period may be extended several years, occasionally up to 12 years.

(1) Old house borer (Hylotrupes bajulus). This beetle places its eggs in the season checks and crevices of wood, and can infest seasoned wood years after it's used for construction. It's commonly found in framing members, roofs and subflooring. It only attacks the sapwood of conifers wood. This European insect is now well established in the U.S. and is becoming more abundant and destructive each year. In Europe and South Africa, it's a major pest of coniferous wood. The adult borer is a flattened, salty brown beetle, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch long. The thorax is rounded, with several small tubercles at the sides and a black polished line and spots on the upper surface. The wing covers have whitish spots which form two irregular bands across their middle. Larvae are thin-skinned, the head is wider than it is long, the tips of the mandibles are rounded, and there are three ocelli (simple eyes) on each side of the head. The prothorax is smooth and shining and legs are present. Larval mines are loosely filled with frass, which is composed of tiny pellets and fine powdery material. The old house borer completes its life cycle in five to seven years in the north and usually three to five years in the south.

(2) Flat oak borer (Smodicum cucujiforme). This is a small, elongate, dorso-ventrally flattened, shiny beetle with a dull yellow color; it's 1/3 to 2/5 inch long. The species occurs throughout the eastern U.S. Larvae excavate long meandering galleries in the dry heartwood of oak and hickory, packing them tightly with fine granular frass. The pupal cell is near the surface of the wood and is merely an enlargement of the gallery. Stored lumber is frequently infested and larval feed in it until the wood is thoroughly riddled. The life cycle may be completed in one year in green logs and under forest conditions but lumber drying activities may extend larvae development to several years.

(3) Ivory marked beetle (Eburia quadrigeminata). This beetle is elongate, one-half to one inch long, and pale yellow. It has two pairs of ivory white spots on each wing cover, the first pair longitudinal and near the base, the second just behind the middle of the wing. The larvae are robust and wedge-shaped, tapering posteriorly, with a tough, shining integument (outer covering) sparsely covered with golden hairs. The legs are distinct, long and four-jointed. The heartwood of heartwood is seriously damaged by the large, contorted larval mines, which are tightly packed with frass. Mature trees with scars or "catfaces" which give larvae access to hardwood are often badly damaged. Adults may also attack lumber undergoing seasoning. Oak, hickory, ash, chestnut, maple, and cypress are susceptible to infestation. In buildings, beetles may emerge from flooring or furniture years after the infested wood is used.

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