Subject: Giant Venezuelan Tree Beetle?
Location: State of Merida, Venezuela
July 19, 2013 7:29 pm
OK, I think eventually this site nailed it a few years ago when you identified my submission of ”Possible Ironclad Beetle” and came up with ”Noserinus furcatus Kirsch” which looks right to me. LIke then, I’ll state ”This is in Andean cloud forest. High altitude valley, State of Merida, VZ. Near La Trampa.”
This picture was taken this July, same location. When I asked about scale, I was told 4” across. This time I did not take the picture – same finca.
This spectacular Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae is a Harlequin Beetle, Acrocinus longimanus, a species found in South and Central America as well as the Caribbean Islands. According to Encyclopedia Britannica: “Ranging from Mexico to South America, this beautiful beetle feeds on sap and lays its eggs on the trunks of dead or dying trees. It is active during the day but can be attracted to lights at night. Females prefer to lay their eggs on trunks and logs with bracket fungus, which provides excellent camouflage. Before laying, the female gnaws an incision about 20 mm (0.8 inch) wide and 7.6 mm (0.3 inch) deep in the bark. She will lay 15 to 20 eggs over the course of two to three days. When the larvae hatch, they bore into the wood. When they mature at seven to eight months, the 13-cm (5-inch) larvae tunnel further, where they dig a cell in which to pupate. The adult beetle emerges four months later, gnawing its way out of the wood. The life cycle is annual.” We have not been successful in finding if there are specific trees favored as host plants, though we find it hard to believe that just any tree will do for food.