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Yellow Longicorn

Yellow Longicorn (Phoracantha recurva)

Yellow Longicorn (Phoracantha recurva)

Structure, Appearance and Characteristics


  • Beetles.
  • Long, flowing antennae, generally longer than their body.
  • Kidney shaped eyes which partly surround the bases of the antennae.
  • Elongate bodies.
  • Chewing mouthparts.



  • Legless, robust.
  • Tapering towards the tip of the abdomen.
  • Chewing mouthparts.


Life Cycle


  • Complete metamorphosis.
  • Female lays eggs in moist bark of newly-felled logs or injured trees.
  • Eggs are laid in the phloem-cambial area of the tree, where larvae will feed prior to pupation.
  • Larvae will bore into the sapwood to pupate.
  • Complete life cycle 6-12 months.




Known as green-wood longicorns are found in forests and ornamental trees.

Generally found under bark of newly-felled logs and damaged trees.

Females are attracted to felled logs and injured trees to lay eggs.

Can be found in buildings because larvae can pupate inside milled timber.  Generally this happens in eucalypt timbers.  Hardwood timbers are the preferred host.

They do not infest dry, seasoned timber, but require moist bark in which to lay eggs and sustain their larvae.




Green-wood timber primarily because of starch content.


Pest Status


Can cause damage to forests and ornamental trees, a newly-felled logs in forests or milling yards. Larval damage occurs when the larvae bore into sapwood to pupate. Because of pupation in sapwood, they can be carried into milled timber and end up in building structures from which they emerge through large oval holes, causing concern for building owners.  If the timber is covered by other sheeting such as plaster, the longicorn will bore through this sheeting as well simply to escape. Reinfestation will not occur in seasoned timber. The structural weakening of framing timbers by longicorn borers is unlikely.  They do not excavate timber extensively and while the galleries are large, they do not honeycomb the wood.  Galleries are usually across the grain.




Strengths include wide range of hardwoods and softwoods suitable for infestation, laying conditions are easy to access (only into bark layer).  The fact that they cannot reinfest seasoned timber is a weakness since the adults must find a new log to lay eggs.  All stages are susceptible to temperature. To control these beetles a number of alternative exist.  Removal of bark from newly felled trees can prevent infestation.  All stages of the beetle can be killed through high temperature, for example kiln dried timbers will not suffer from holes bored by emerging adults.  Fumigation will also kill all stages of the beetle.


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