The summer so far in Victoria has been very hot and dry. Apparently this is just what the Banded Alder Borer Beetle loves!
In the last two weeks, countless curious people have sent photos or brought in specimens of this beetle to the Bug Zoo.
The Banded Alder Borer (Rosalia funebris) is a large and extremely beautiful Long Horn Beetle (family Cerambycidae). They can be found across Western North America from Mexico to Canada. Their larvae bore into logs and stumps, eating the wood pulp. Adults prefer sweet things such as flowers, nectar, and fruit. They have broad stripes of black and blue-white and extremely long antennae. Unlike some species of Long Horn Beetle, this one is not considered a pest as the young prefer to eat dead wood. Sometimes the males are attracted to the smell of drying paint.
If you are lucky enough to find one of these beautiful insects this summer, please make sure they are returned to nature so they can live long, healthy lives. And the Bug Zoo is always interested in seeing any of these or other bugs you might discover!