Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Can you ID this bug?


Saw this dead guy outside (I live in Virginia), and thought it was a roach, but looking online it doesn't really look anything like the roaches I'm seeing pictures of, so I'm wondering if it is a roach or a beetle or what.  It was probably 1.5-2" long.  I've attached a picture.  Any help you could give would be appreciated!  I think I've seen them in my house before as well so I'm trying to figure out if they're roaches or not, if they're not they're somehow instantly more acceptable to have in my house.  :)

Dear Andy - This is a long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in the subfamily Prioninae, it appears to be Orthosoma brunneum, a species known simply as the brown prionid - see http://tinyurl.com/kbm3n7z for images and more information. It is not a serious pest, and will not infest anything in your home.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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