Greater Thorn-tipped Long-horn Beetle

e6filmusere6filmuser e6filmuserPosts: 2,492Registered Users Major grins
edited May 30, 2019 in Holy Macro

I only got a brief look at its antennae before trying to take photos. When I saw them my reaction was “long-horn beetle”. Looking at the size of it (antenna spread is ca 15mm) this seemed unlikely, thinking it must be a bug. It is a Long-horn Beetle Pogonocherus hispidulus, widespread but rarely seen in daytime. The larvae develop in dead twigs of deciduous trees, such as apple or Holly, or in Ivy. I don’t think there is much dead Holly in my garden but the others are abundant. Longhorns are around from late spring. I found this a week ago.

Before I could get shots of the insect with its antennae spread wide apart the following happened. It played dead when I got close, not so much dropping off the leaf but hurling itself onto a nearby one. I think the images speak for themselves.

The two thorn-like projections on its rear end give the beetle its name.

There is a similar species, the Pine Long-horn Beetle, which prefers confers and (in the UK) is confines to Scotland. It does not have those spines.

The stereos are crosseye. The second one is a fun item.

I have uploaded the last image first. (It's a bit soft but shows the recognition characters of the species).

Olympus EM-1 (aperture priority), Olympus 4/3 x2 TC, Olympus 4/3 50mm f2 macro, f11 (first f13), hand-held.

Harold

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