Texas Beetle Information

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Cottonwood Borer

Plectrodera scalator (Fabricius, 1792)

Family Cerambycidae, Subfamily Lamiinae, Tribe Lamiini


Plectrodera scalator (Fabricius)

Photo by M. Quinn
Specimen from TAMU Insect Collection

Range: Eastern North America, from Great Lakes states west to New Mexico and south to Texas (Hovore et al. 1987)

Adult Activity: April to August (Hovore et al. 1987, Lingafelter & Horner 1993)

Larval Hosts: 

Populus, Salix (Milliken 1916)
Platanus, Albizia, Helianthus (Lingafelter & Horner 1993)

Abundance: Ubiquitous in North Central Texas (Lingafelter & Horner 1993)

Biology: The larvae mine the living root crown, often seriously damaging the plant (Hovore et al. 1987)

Similar Species: None, one of the largest and most recognizable North American longhorns.


Cottonwood Borer - TAMU 
Cottonwood Borers - The Bugwood Network

Biography: Johan Christian Fabricius (1745 - 1808) - Wikipedia


Arnett, R.H., Jr., M.C. Thomas, P.E. Skelley & J.H. Frank. (editors). 2002. American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea. CRC Press. 861 pp.

Craighead, F.C. 1923. North American cerambycid larvae: a classification and the biology of North American cerambycid larvae. Can. Dep. Agric. Tech. Bull. 27:1-239.

Hovore, F.T., R.L. Penrose & R.W. Neck. 1987. The Cerambycidae, or longhorned beetles, of southern Texas: a faunal survey (Coleoptera). Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 44(13): 283-334, 20 figs.

Lingafelter, S.W. & N.V. Horner. 1993. The Cerambycidae of north-central Texas. The Coleopterists Bulletin, 47(2): 159-191.

Linsley E.G. & Chemsak J.A. 1984. Cerambycidae of North America. Part VII, No. 1. Taxonomy and Classification of the Subfamily Lamiinae, Tribes Parmenini through Acanthoderini. University of California Press, Berkeley. 102: 1-258 p.

Milliken, F.B. 1916. The Cottonwood Borer. U.S.D.A. Bureau of Entomology, Bulletin No. 424: 1-7.

Monné, M.A. & F.T. Hovore. 2005. Electronic Checklist of the Cerambycidae of the Western Hemisphere. 393 pp.

Solomon, J.D. 1980. Cottonwood borer (Plectrodera scalator) - a guide to its biology, damage, and control.  U.S.D.A., Forest Service Research Paper, SO-157:1-10.

Solomon, J.D. 1995. Guide to insect borers of North American broadleaf trees and shrubs. USDA Forest Service Handbook 706. Washington, DC. 735 pp.

01 Dec 2008  © Mike Quinn / Texas Entomology / Texas Beetle Information