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Pest Information

Black Polycaon

Black Polycaon

  • Latin Name: Polycaon stouti
  • Common Name: Black Polycaon
  • Latin Family Name: Bostrichidae
  • Other Names: N/A

Pest Details

Black Polycaon
Black Polycaon
Black Polycaon


Native to western North America, where it is present along the Pacific Coast states and into Arizona.


This is related to the Lead Cable Borer and Bamboo Borer, but is very different in appearance. It is a large beetle that attacks primarily softwoods, especially plywood products, but also has been found emerging from oak furniture, leaving a round exit hole about ΒΌ inch in diameter. It may attack plywood in storage, and then be built into homes or furniture, and generally does not re-infest the wood once it emerges as an adult. On several occasions it has been found in large numbers on hospital roofs or in chemical warehouses, possibly attracted by odors at those sites. The development from egg to adult may take a year or up to several years to complete. It is a common beetle in nature in the western states, and often comes to lights at buildings.


The black polycaon is a large beetle, with adults ranging from about 0.5 to 1.0 inch long. They are shiny black with somewhat concave areas in the middle of the prothorax and between the elytra. Their front legs appear to stick out at right angles to the body. Males have very large jaws, and the antennae of the adult beetle are typical for the family, having the basal segments small and beadlike, and the last 3 segments much larger and serrate.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Ensuring the use of clean, non-infested wood products is important, as this beetle is almost always built in with infested wood. For heavy infestations or valuable furnishings, fumigation will ensure the kill of the larvae prior to adults emerging and causing visible damage.

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