Most insects avoid us or scuttle out of sight. Not these guys. White-spotted sawyers are big, noisy and show no fear. It’s unnerving when one flies right at you.
This female landed on the steps about an arm’s length away from me. She paused, then opened her hard wing covers (aka elytras) and unfolded her sturdy wings.
With soft clicking and chuffing sounds she became air-borne again — doing little touch-and-goes on the steps like a novice pilot, each hop bringing her closer to me.
I blinked first: I moved. She ignored me and eventually disappeared into the grass at the end of the step.
Should you encounter such a magnificent beetle and wish to know whether it’s male or female (assuming you haven’t flown off in a fright), check out the antennae length.
Females, like the one shown here, have antennae about the same length or slightly longer than their bodies.
Males (for whom size seems to matter) have antennae 2 to 3 times their body length. I assure you, you’ll definitely know it’s a male.
White-spotted (spruce) sawyer Monochamus scutellatus