Other Common Names
Longicorne noir (French), Oil Sands Beetle, Tar Sands Beetle
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Monochamus scutellatus (Say, 1824)
One of 8 spp., all Nearctic (1)
Similar to others of its genus, but scutellum white. (Scutellum is the little triangle at the front of the elytra, or wing covers.)
Coniferous forests of N. Amer., esp. n. US, upper midwest, much of Canada, plus southward in Appalachians.
mostly: May-Sept (BG data)
Two-year life cycle. Larvae excavates galleries in coniferous trees, often after they are damaged by a fire, storm, etc. Common hosts are: Balsam fir, spruces and white pine
The local (to Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada) common names of Oil Sands Beetle and Tar Sands Beetle are due to the attraction of this insect to oil sands. Apparently the attraction is the scent of bitumen, chemically similar to compounds released by the diseased or damaged coniferous trees where they are attracted to lay their eggs.