Stenodontes dasystomus

The body size of the Hardwood Stump Borer beetle is about two inches long. The dorsal coloration is either purple or black with no maculations present. Its common habitat is dry upland hardwood forests, cut-over areas, or in swamp lands where small grubs are abundant, including those on the water surface, such as mosquito larva. The adult Hardwood Stump Borer beetle is sexually active in the fall.

Generally, Hardwood Borer beetles occur on most continents. In the United States they are predominantly found in open habitats, including river sandbars, rocky outcroppings, and along woodland paths. As their name implies these are active, agile insects, quick to take flight, possessing good vision, and in some cases, having colorful patterns that disguise them against predators. The male Hardwood Borer has long antennae; the female have short. Those pictured above and below are males.

There are approximately 100 species of Hardwood Borer beetles in the US, included in four genera. Two genera occur in Florida and south Alabama.

Adult beetles are nocturnal. During daylight hours they may be found hiding under surface objects, dried leaf litter, boards, rocks, or ground crevices.

Hardwood beetles are predators, feeding on insects they are able to capture with their mandibles. They are particularly fond of ants and their larva. It is common to collect adult beetles with ant heads still attached to a variety of appendages! Rather than specializing on certain species for prey, the adults are opportunistic feeders. In short, they are good "pests" to have around so long as the landscape does not include hardwood trees such as magnolia and oak.

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