Bioscience

Beetles make annual trek to Arizona mesquite trees

September 5, 2009

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: Fox News.com] – Swarms of little dark beetles with long antennas and a Velcro-like grasp have been spotted around Sierra Vista in the last couple of weeks. These are the same critters responsible for some unexpected pruning of mesquite trees.

Commonly called the mesquite twig girdler, the Oncideres rhodosticta has been in southern Arizona as long as the mesquite tree itself and is actually quite harmless, said Carl Olson associate curator of the University of Arizona department of entomology. People see dead twigs on the ground and assume the tree is dying. In fact, this pruning only makes it grow back stronger.

For more information: Beetles Make Annual Trek to Arizona Mesquite Trees