182157
180269
Vernon  

Okanagan home to large root borer beetles - and if you're brave, you can eat them

This big bug is edible

This week's "bug of the week" is a big one.

Several readers have sent in pictures of large, black-brown beetles with long antennae.

They are root borers, which can grow as large as six centimetres – and are said to be edible, if you're brave enough.

Prionus Californicus, commonly known as the California root borer, can be found in many regions of Western North America.

The root borer starts out as a larvae that feasts on the roots of plants, hence the name.

The large larvae, cream to brown in colour, seek out roots shortly after hatching. They furrow and tunnel through the roots as they consume tissue, moving upward and inward and often killing the plant.

The larvae can grow to a whopping seven centimetres long.

California root borers are considered an orchard pest, and the tunnelling of larvae can cause the death of infested trees.

While they look scary, adult beetles don't bite or harm humans, other than the scare they can provide with their intimidating looks.

The female beetles have wings, but are unable to fly due to their size – which is nearly double that of a male.

However, they aren't all bad.

The insect, in both the larval and adult stages, is edible – although I doubt I will ever be that hungry in my life.



More Vernon News

180520