What Is a Red-Headed Ash Borer?


Quick Answer

The red-headed ash borer is a type of beetle that is commonly found throughout North America. It is scientifically known as Neoclytus acuminatus. The ash borer is generally black and red with four lines of yellow running perpendicularly along its back.

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What Is a Red-Headed Ash Borer?
Credit: USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

The ash borer is commonly mistaken for a wasp because of its black and yellow coloring and its ability to fly. It derives its name from the damage it does to hardwood trees during its larval stage.

When young, the small milk-colored larvae burrow into the heart of a dead or dying tree and use the wood as nourishment, destroying wood that is often intended for use. This insect is considered something of a pest for this reason. The larvae continue eating the inside of the tree until undergoing metamorphosis, at which point the adult ash borers eat their way out.

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