By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Up close, the elderberry longhorn beetle looks like a Batmobile, some with a red outline along their backs. But these critters, as neat as they look, have caused the valley a big chunk of cash to get them removed from construction sites.
Wednesday on "First Look with Scott Cox," Californian columnist Lois Henry talked about her Sunday column and the "not-so-rare beetles causing a costly combo."
The city recently found an elderberry bush in the path of its upcoming northern Mohawk Street extension project, Henry said.
"An elderberry shrub cost taxpayers more than $350,000 back in 2010 when one was found in the pathway of the Westside Parkway," Henry said.
And that was because the elderberry beetle was listed as "a threatened species" by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1980.
But Henry said the beetle is actually common up and down the valley. There is a movement to de-list the elderberry beetle as being threatened, she said.
"I don't want to get rid of them, but I just feel there is too much money being spent on a bush to conserve their habitat," Henry said.