We received two reports of this large beetle recently — the largest beetle in Montana. This one was found by one of our younger bug enthusiasts, Weston, and was described as being “not in good shape” and “requiring bugsitting.” They can be found in forested areas of Douglas fir and ponderosa pine (their principal hosts) throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Females lay eggs in cracks of suitable logs or stumps from trees that have recently been felled or killed by fire. They do not attack live trees. The larval stage typically takes 3 to 5 years until pupation and the emergence of the adults that garner so much attention. And at up to 3.5 inches in length, that attention is well deserved. Interesting fact — the mature larvae have gnawing jaws that inspired the invention of the chainsaw.
Photo by Ashley Haun on 8/19/20 in Thompson Falls, MT.