Whether you’ve been cursing the monsoon season or praying for it, one thing’s for certain, the monsoon rains can bring out the most incredible looking creatures.
The monsoon brings out cockroaches, even some huge ones. But it also brings out a huge beetle called the Paloverde Root Borer (Paloverde Beetle) or its scientific name – Derobrachus Geminatus. Oh, you’d know if you crossed paths with a Paloverde beetle. They’re black or brown, are spiny, have unique long antennae, have spikes near their neck and can fly. One more thing – they’re huge, some can be 3 to 4 inches in length.
The Paloverde beetle are one of the largest species of beetles living in North America. For their first three years of their lives they live underground, surviving by eating the roots of the paloverde tree (hence their name). They do eat other types of trees besides paloverde trees. Either way, Paloverde beetle grubs can do a lot of damage to a tree’s root system.
Sometimes you can spot the grubs when you landscape in and around paloverde trees or other afflicted trees. The larvae can be colored anywhere from cream to light green, with brown near their head.
Once they become an adult, they come out from underground at the start of the monsoon season. It isn’t the monsoon rains which flood them out from underground, but rather they emerge to mate. Once they mate – they die.
While they are adults, they live for about a month and may drink fruit nectar or feed on fruit. They are usually more active in the evening, flying from tree to tree. If you think you spotted one, you probably shouldn’t kill it since it won’t harm you. Besides, it doesn’t have long to live. You should expect to see them until the end of August.
Paloverde Beetles do have some predators who love to eat them (if they can get past the hard spine). Skunk and bears like to feed on the grubs, while roadrunners, owls, coyotes and bobcats like to eat the adult beetles.
For the original article please check out this link: http://desertcastlepc.com/its-big-its-scary-its-the-paloverde-beetle/
For more information, please check out this fact sheet from the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension: http://extension.arizona.edu/sites/extension.arizona.edu/files/pubs/az1429.pdf