When I found this beetle sitting on the underside of our deck railing, I decided to catch him in a glass. Now what? Having captured him, I felt responsible for him.
Do I let him go? Is he a good bug or a bad one? What if he’s harmful to the trees, as I’d heard on the news just the other day? Do I have to kill this bug and save the forests of the world? I had heard about Asian longhorn beetles. Was this one of them?
But who put me in charge of the insect world? What conceit for me to assume I had the right to make a life and death decision for this insect.
I looked up information on this beetle and discovered that this was a banded alder borer (rosalia funebris) of the longhorn beetle family.
As adults, they eat flowers (well, I didn’t like to hear about that so much, but it was better than eating a tree), and the larvae of the beetle eat the decayed wood in which the eggs were laid. Not much of a threat at all.
The banded alder borer is not prolific here, and is not going to kill the trees around my house.
He had spent enough time as my prisoner. I lifted the paper cover from the glass. The beetle seemed eager to fly away, and yes, you guessed it. He flew right onto a flower bed I had planted this spring, where I’m sure he had a good lunch.