January 21, 2010
I just discovered your site today – being a keen bug fiend, I cant believe that I had not come across it before!
I searched through your site to find more information on French’s Longicorn beetle (Batocera frenchi) – but couldnt find any!
We came across these beautiful, large longicorns on a hike through the Wooroonooran National Park in North Queensland in November – They were in a recently broken hollowed tree (probably had something to do with it breaking!!) and appear to be in the midst of a courtship. This is the first time I have seen these amazing beetles – even though they are described as having a geographical area from Mid New South Wales to North Queensland.
Hopefully someone will be able to let me know if they are rare? In which case, I am completely and utterly chuffed to have met them personally 😀
The Dreaded Bug Queen
Wooroonooran NP -Palmerston, North Queensland, Australia
Dear Dreaded Bug Queen,
Though we are based in Los Angeles, we here at What’s That Bug? have had a long history of posting letters of Australian insects, most notably during your summer because our readership does not submit as many identification requests during our winter months. We have posted several letters from locations including India and Israel containing images of the related Mango Stem Borer, Batocera rufomaculata, and once we even posted a letter of a Chinese species we believe to be Batocera rubus, but your wonderful image of mating French’s Longicorns is a first for Batocerus frenchi for us. An image of a French’s Longicorn is posted on the Csiro website, but there is not much information. We have been unable to find out much information on your beetle, though a specimen of French’s Longicorn is listed as rare and is currently for sale on the Insects & More website is listed at 52 Euros, which is approximately $75 US, a hefty price indeed. A female on the same website is selling for 65 Euros. Another website lists it as very rare. We believe your sighting is significant and we are thankful you sent us your marvelous image. Just prior to posting, we decided to search by the common name French’s Longicorn rather than the scientific name. We found a wonderful website of Shell Picture Card series on Cerambycidae that contains this information: “Card no. 339 – French’s Longicorn Beetle, Batocera frenchi (Van de Poll) [as Batocera frenchi Blkb.] Card data: ‘This is one of the finest Longicorn Beetles in Australia. It is found in the rain forests from northern New South Wales to north Queensland. It measures 2” or more in length and is found in certain native fig trees, in the branches and trunks of which its grubs feed. This beetle is a common species of the family Cerambycidae.’ Comments: The biology and host plants of Batocera boisduvali (Hope)(often regarded by entomologists as the same species as B. frenchi) have been reviewed by Hawkeswood (1987a) & Hawkeswood & Dauber (1990, 1993).“