Sudbury

Longhorn beetles spotted around Greater Sudbury

With summer officially underway in the region, you’re likely spending more time outside. But with that extra time outdoors, you’re likely to be sharing it with a few insects.

Local entomologist says if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you

A Sudbury entomologist says longhorn beetles have huge jaws to chew through wood. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

With summer officially underway in the region, you're likely spending more time outside. But with that extra time outdoors, you're likely to be sharing it with a few insects.

Recently in Sudbury, large bugs have been spotted in people's yards. In particular, a black bug about the length of a toonie with long legs and a large antennae has been seen by many.

That bug is actually a long-horn beetle, according to entomologist and coordinator for Earthcare Sudbury Initiatives with the City of Greater Sudbury, Jennifer Babin-Fenske. 

"We do have several species of them," she said. "Some are brown, some are black and some have different white markings."

Babin-Fenske says that beetle is considered a "sun-loving" insect."

"The females will lay their eggs on really hot summer days," she said.

She adds they not only like the heat, but they're also attracted to weakened or dead trees.

"They lay their eggs in the tree and then the larva eat their way around the wood," she said.

"But they can be in there for about two years. Then when they emerge as adults, they still have the whole summer to kind of be adults. The life cycle for the adults is usually July and August."

Jennifer Babin-Fenske is an entomologist and the coordinator of Earth Care at the City of Greater Sudbury. (Erik White/CBC )

But why is the antennae on the bug so big? Babin-Fenske says that has to do with finding a mate.

"For a lot of males, the antennae are longer," she said. "For a lot of insects, the antennae for males helps them sense the pheromones of the females."

Babin-Fenske adds the insects have "huge jaws" to chew through wood.

"They can give a bit of a bite," she cautioned. "But if you don't bother them, they won't bother you."

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