Long'horned Beetles - Cerambycidae
Most of the Cerambycidae are slender, cylindrical, and brightly colored, which makes them favorites of collectors. They vary greatly in size, although most species tend to be large. Some tropical cerambycids Titanus giganteus, Xixuthrus heyrousky, and Macrodontia cervicornis, for example-are among the largest members of the Coleoptera, often attaining lengths of more than four inches.
Many cerambycids have enormous antennae, sometimes longer than their bodies, for which they are labeled long-horned beetles. In some species the front legs also are unusually long. In Acrocinus longimanus, for example, the antennae stretch far behind the beetle's abdomen and the front legs are nearly twice the body length. This exotic species is found in Guyana; in some rare cases the rear wings are missing.
All Cerambycidae are phytophagous plant eaters-and some species are dangerous pests. Most of the adults feed on flowers and soft plant material, but the larvae are wood borers and can cause considerable damage to trees. The larvae are descriptively called round-headed borers because their heads are not flattened or broadened as are the heads of Buprestidae larvae, the flatheaded borers. Among the pests of this family are Saperda Candida, the apple tree borer; Megacyllene robiniae, the locust borer; and Chion cinctus, the banded hickory borer.
Lamiinae. In some members of the Lamiinae, the largest subfamily of the Cerambycidae, the rear wings are atrophied. Cerambycids of the genera Lamia, Morimus, and Dorcadion, for example, have been relegated to pedestrian lives. The brilliantly colored cerambycids of the genus Saperda belong to this sub-family, and many are serious pests. Saperda carcharias, a corpulent beetle covered with gray or yellow pencils of hair, is the major nemy of poplar forests. Its larvae feed on the trunks and bigger branches, boring long roomy tunnels that irk timbermen.
Cerambycinae. Some of the most beautiful cerambycids belong to the subfamily Cerambycinae, among them Megacyllene robiniae, the locust borer. This black beetle is marked with patches of bright yellow. It is frequently seen on goldenrod. Found in central and southern Europe, Rosalia alpina is one of the most attractive of all beetles. Its body is blue gray marked with patches of brilliant black. Its long antennae are pale blue and spotted with tufts of black hair.
INDEX : Insects 24-1-2008 February 28, 2014 01:08:09 PM