Bernheim Pollinators: Locust Borer Beetle

By Bernheim

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The Locust Borer Beetle, also known as Megacyllene robiniae, is a one-tree kind of bug. Native to North America, the locust borer beetle attacks only the black locust tree. With a lifespan varying from weeks to years, the locust borer caterpillar tunnels and eats the locust tree, weakening the tree and making it prone to wind damage. Until the caterpillar matures, it overwinters, or spends the winter, in the black locust tree. The adult locust borer beetle enjoys the pollen of our Kentucky state flower, the goldenrod.

The adult locust borer beetle can easily be mistaken as a pollinator or bee with yellow bands around its black body. The brightly colored adult beetle is typically ¾ to 1 inch long and as you can see, quite the looker. Adult locust borer beetles are prevalent during the month of September and can be found feasting on goldenrod blossoms. Keep an eye out and you might see this pest at Bernheim!

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