The banded alder borer, Rosalia funebris, is a member of the very diverse family of longhorn beetles.
Like many others in the family Cerambycidae, R. funebris has strikingly colored wing covers (elytra). The elytra are dark with three white bands. The thorax (pronotum) is white with a large black spot. The alder borer's antennae are banded white and black. The male's antennae are longer than his body, but the female's are shorter. Long and narrow, the body of R. funebris may grow to be 38 millimetres (1.5 in).
The exact reason (pheromone?) is unknown, but R. funebris is drawn to recently painted buildings and may be found, in multitudes, resting on the paint.
The adult wood-boring beetles lay their eggs in a crevice of the bark on hardwood trees such as Oregon ash, New Mexico willow, and California laurel/Oregon myrtle.[not in citation given] From there the larvae bore into the wood. Unlike the oval (in cross-section) tunnels of the Buprestidae larva, larval Cerambycidae tunnels are circular (in cross-section) and will generally go straight for short distances between turns.
When handled or threatened R. funebris makes an audible noise similar to that of a squeaky running shoe, or a hissing sound much like air being let out of a bike tire.
Other Rosalia species
- Rosalia alpina (Linnaeus, 1758) – Rosalia longicorn
- Rosalia batesi Harold, 1877
- Rosalia coelestis Semenov, 1911
- Rosalia houlberti Vuillet, 1911
- Rosalia lameerei Brogn, 1890
- "California first-grader gives beetle to Cornell's insect collection. Chemical in paint appears to mimic pheromone to attract beetle". Cornell University. June 9, 1997.
- Charles A. Triplehorn & Norman F. Johnson (2004). Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects (7th ed.). Brooks Cole. ISBN 0-03-096835-6.