Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Mystery Bug


Mystery Bug
Mystery Bug  
Hi there!

While driving to work today, I noticed this bug was on my rear view mirror:


I've never seen anything like it! I showed it to some co-workers and everyone was baffled! I'm from Corpus Christi, Texas, if that helps. I'm just really curious about it. Probably one of the biggest bugs I've ever seen. I've also attached it if you can't see it on my twitter.

Anyways, thanks for your time!

Dear Arty - This is Plectrodera scalator, a long-horned wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) known as a cottonwood borer. As the name implies, their larvae tunnel in cottonwood trees, where they live for one to two years before pupating there. This is the usual time of year for the adult beetles to merge. See http://tinyurl.com/qec4ubh and http://tinyurl.com/l45kag6 for images and more detailed information.

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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