Flat-Faced Longhorn Beetle: Quick Guide to Identification and Facts

Flat faced longhorn beetles are fascinating insects that are part of the diverse family Cerambycidae. These beetles have a signature appearance due to their flattened faces and elongated bodies. Interestingly, they are known for their unusually long antennae, which often extend longer than their own bodies.

These beetles play an essential ecological role as they help decompose wood, assisting in nutrient recycling within forests. They feed on a variety of hardwood trees, including deciduous and some coniferous species, depending on the specific longhorn beetle. However, some longhorn beetle species, like the Asian Longhorned Beetle, are considered invasive pests due to their destructive feeding habits, which may lead to tree death.

To get a better understanding of their features and characteristics:

  • Antennae: Very long and slender, often longer than the beetle’s body
  • Body shape: Elongated and cylindrical
  • Color: Varies across species; may include combinations of black, brown, red, or even metallic hues
  • Size: Ranges from small to quite large, depending on the species
  • Habitat: Found in various forest types, typically near their preferred host trees

When it comes to flat faced longhorn beetles, it is crucial to learn more about their role in the ecosystem, as well as the potential risks posed by invasive species. By doing so, we can appreciate these unique creatures while taking necessary precautions to protect our natural environment.

Flat Faced Longhorn Beetle: An Overview

Classification and Taxonomy

The flat-faced longhorn beetle belongs to the Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Arthropoda, Subphylum Hexapoda, Class Insecta, Order Coleoptera, Superfamily Chrysomeloidea, Family Cerambycidae, and Subfamily Lamiinae. They are part of the group known as long-horned beetles, characterized by their long antennae.

Physical Characteristics

Flat-faced longhorn beetles exhibit the following physical characteristics:

  • Distinct long antennae, often longer than their body length
  • Elongated bodies with cylindrical shapes
  • Have a flat face, unlike other longhorn beetles

These beetles belong to the broader group of arthropods, land invertebrates that make up the majority of insect diversity.

Numbers and Distribution

Flat-faced longhorn beetles have a varied distribution, with over 20,000 species of longhorn beetles within the family Cerambycidae. The subfamily Lamiinae, which includes flat-faced longhorn beetles, is widespread and covers a diverse range of habitats. However, specific numbers and distribution vary depending on the individual species.

To understand the diversity of flat-faced longhorn beetles, it’s essential to recognize that some are:

  • Highly adaptable to various environments
  • Endemic to specific regions with limited distribution

In summary, the flat-faced longhorn beetle belongs to the diverse family of long-horned beetles, classified within the arthropod phylum. They exhibit unique physical characteristics, such as long antennae and a flat face. The species is found within the subfamily Lamiinae, which is diverse and widespread, but individual species may vary greatly in their numbers and distribution.

Life Cycle and Habitat

Larval Development

The flat faced longhorn beetle begins its life as a larvae, feeding on rotten hardwood. During this stage, the larvae:

  • Create tunnels in the wood
  • Spend most of their lives in this developmental stage
  • Share habitats with other organisms like:
    • Earthworms
    • Millipedes
    • Centipedes
    • Mites
    • Spiders

Adult Behavior

After pupating, the adult beetles chew their way out of the wood. Their primary goal is to find a mate and continue the cycle. Adult longhorn beetles:

  • May emerge during any month of the year
  • Can have two to three overlapping generations per year
  • Often attracted to recently-killed trees

Preferred Natural Environment

Flat faced longhorn beetles live in habitats that support their food sources. Key features of their environment include:

  • Rotting hardwood
  • Presence of other insects
  • Typically found near dying or freshly cut trees

The following table highlights the differences between the larval and adult stages of the flat faced longhorn beetle:

Stage Feeding Behavior Habitat Preference
Larvae Consume rotten hardwood Inside rotting wood
Adults Search for mates Near dying or cut trees

Now you have a brief understanding of the life cycle and habitat preferences of flat faced longhorn beetles, including the various stages of development and the differences between these stages.

Identification and Species Diversity

Key Features

Flat-faced longhorn beetles are a diverse group of beetles belonging to the family Cerambycidae. Here are some key features to identify them:

  • Antennae: Long and often as long as or longer than their body.
  • Body shape: Generally elongated, flat, or cylindrical.
  • Color: Varied, ranging from dull to brightly colored, often with patterns.

Prominent Species and Genera

With over 50 genera and 80 tribes, flat-faced longhorn beetles have a vast range of species. Some notable genera include:

  • Pogonocherini: Found mainly in the Philippines, comprising several colorful species.
  • Saperdini: A large tribe with a global distribution, known for their unique body shapes and patterns.
  • Neandra brunnea: A species from Europe and North America characterized by a dark brown to black spotted pattern.

Comparison Table

Genera Distribution Characteristics
Pogonocherini Philippines Colorful species
Saperdini Global Unique body shapes and patterns
Neandra brunnea Europe, North America Dark brown to black, spotted

In conclusion, identifying a flat-faced longhorn beetle involves examining its antennae, body shape, and color. With thousands of species in multiple genera and tribes, these beetles display remarkable diversity in appearance and habitat.

Role in the Ecosystem

Food Sources

The flat-faced longhorn beetle is an important part of its ecosystem, primarily consuming wood and plant matter. They are especially known for feeding on elderberry plants. This can include:

  • Tree bark
  • Leaves
  • Stems

Predators and Threats

Invertebrates such as flat-faced longhorn beetles face numerous predators, including:

  • Birds
  • Mammals
  • Other insects

There are also threats to their habitat, specifically:

  • Deforestation
  • Pollution
  • Climate change

Contribution to Biodiversity

Flat-faced longhorn beetles are one of the 10 million species of animals without backbones that are alive on Earth, contributing to overall biodiversity. They are a part of the rich invertebrate population in North America and play a role in maintaining ecological balance.

Feature Flat-Faced Longhorn Beetle Other Invertebrates
Backbone No No
Predators Birds, mammals, insects Varied
Contribution to Biodiversity Yes Yes

Conservation and Human Interaction

Current Conservation Status

The Flat Faced Longhorn beetle is not currently considered an endangered species. However, in certain locations like Missouri, its numbers may be lesser.

Possible Threats

  • Habitat destruction: One key issue faced by the Flat Faced Longhorn beetle is the loss of their living space due to human activity.
  • Pesticides: These chemicals can have a negative effect on the beetle population when used excessively or in improper ways.

Efforts to Protect the Species

Various conservation groups and individuals are taking steps to ensure these beetles’ survival. Examples of such measures include:

  • Reforestation and habitat restoration projects.
  • Implementing integrated pest management (IPM) practices to reduce pesticide use.

Explanation of Names

It’s called “Flat Faced Longhorn Beetle” because of its uniquely flattened facial features and long antennae.

Food

Flat Faced Longhorn beetles mainly feed on the wood of dead and decaying trees such as oak and maple.

Comparison Table

Feature Flat Faced Longhorn Beetle Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle
Size Small (0.4-0.7 inches) Medium (0.8 inches)
Antennae Long Long (Male), Short (Female)
Primary Food Source Decaying wood Elderberry plant
Habitat Forests Central Valley, California

In conclusion, the Flat Faced Longhorn beetle is an interesting species with some challenges posed by human interaction and habitat destruction. By understanding their needs, people can contribute to the conservation efforts for this fascinating little creature.

Additional Resources and Further Reading

Famous Studies and Publications

  • Study 1: A groundbreaking study on the flat-faced longhorn beetle’s behavior and habitat preferences. Link to Study 1
  • Publication 2: An extensive research publication detailing the various subspecies of the flat-faced longhorn beetle. Link to Publication 2

Related Insect Groups

  • Chrysomelidae: A family of beetles known for their colorful appearances. Some similarities can be found between Chrysomelidae and flat-faced longhorn beetles. Learn more about Chrysomelidae

  • Cerambycinae: A subfamily of longhorn beetles, closely related to flat-faced longhorn beetles, known for their elongated bodies and antennae. Cerambycinae information

Comparison Table: Chrysomelidae vs. Cerambycinae

Feature Chrysomelidae Cerambycinae
Size Small Medium
Antennae Short Long
Body Shape Rounded Elongated

Characteristics of Flat-faced Longhorn Beetles:

  • Found in diverse habitats
  • Woodboring as larvae
  • Attracted to dead or decaying wood
  • Adult beetles feed on leaves and bark

For additional resources, see also Reference List and Works Cited in the submitted publication.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Flat-Faced Longhorn from Arizona is Mesquite Girdler

 

Longhorn beetle?
Hello,
Just wondering if you could identify this little bugger for me. He’s a lot like most longhorn beetles, and he’s only about 3/4″ long on the body. But he has a strange orange speckling on his back, and he’s been popping up around SE Tucson. I haven’t been able to find one like him on-line, but maybe I’m not looking hard enough? Love the site! I’ve attached the picture. Thank you!
James

Hi James,
We thought this Cerambycid would be easier to identify. We have concluded it is in the subfamily Lamiinae, the Flat Faced Longhorns, but haven’t yet identified the species. We are going to request assistance from Eric Eaton. Here is Eric’s response: “Hi, Daniel: Thankfully, I actually ‘do’ recognize this cerambycid! It is known as the “mesquite girdler,” Oncideres rhodosticta. Females climb out on a mesquite twig and chew a deep groove around the diameter. Each female then lays an egg beyond the scar. The girdling kills the twig beyond the scar and the larval offspring bores in that dying wood. This, and other species of longhorned beetles, effectively prune trees and shrubs in this manner, literally shaping the forests and woodlands where they live. Eric”

Letter 2 – Flat Faced Longhorn Beetle: Acanthoderes quadrigibba

 

Acanthoderes quadrigibba in Oklahoma?
January 15, 2009
Hi,
Last June I found this longhorn beetle. It was mottled brown with two white patches on its elytra. It was about a cm long, with black-and-white-banded antennae of the same length. I found pictures of Acanthoderes quadrigibba on BugGuide that looked similar, but I’m not sure if that’s what I found.

Acanthoderes quadrigibba
Acanthoderes quadrigibba

BugGuide has their range listed as the Eastern U.S., but I found mine in central Oklahoma. Was this little guy an A. quadrigibba, or just a similar species? Could he have been an introduced specimen, or is Oklahoma within the range for A. quadrigibba? Thanks for the help.
Josh Kouri

Acanthoderes quadrigibba
Acanthoderes quadrigibba

Hi Josh,
The photo looks correct, and BugGuide lists sightings from Texas, so we believe you are correct.

Acanthoderes quadrigibba
Acanthoderes quadrigibba

Letter 3 – Two Longhorned Borer Beetles: Flatfaced Longhorn from Oklahoma and Long Jawed Longhorn from Arizona

 

unknown longhorns not on wtb!
Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 7:15 AM
Hi,
I have two unidentified longhorn beetles that I haven’t seen on What’s That Bug before. I looked through all the beetle pages and didn’t see either of them there. The first one is a little grayish-brown longhorn that is about 1 cm long. It was found in central Oklahoma. I have found several of these this year, ranging from brown to grey, and all of them have been found under loose boards. The second is about an inch long and is orange and black. This one was found in the Arizona desert five or six years ago. I appreciate any help you can provide.
Josh Kouri

Flat Faced Longhorn
Flat Faced Longhorn

Hi Josh,
We have been scouring BugGuide to try to provide you with speculations on your identifications, and then we will consult with experts to see if our identifications are correct. We believe your Oklahoma specimen may be Flat Faced Longhorn with no common name, Ecyrus dasycerus. Images on BugGuide look quite close. BugGuide has this information: “Size 4 to 10 mm. Identification ‘Variable in size, and darker and lighter variants occur, but the combination of body shape and the dark, inverted arc-like marking at the elytral base is distinctive (though the mark is sometimes faint).'(1) Season ‘Flight: April-August in Eastern North America.'(1) Food variety of hardwoods, esp. oak. Remarks ‘Attracted to UV lights.’ ” The photo on your finger indicates the small size of the specimen which matches the description on BugGuide

Flat Faced Longhorn
Flat Faced Longhorn

We haven’t had any luck identifying your Arizona specimen, and we are now running late for the day. Hopefully Eric Eaton can provide an ID or some assistance.

 

Unknown Longhorn

Update: From Eric Eaton
Mon, 2 Mar 2009 09:32:27 -0800 (PST)
Happy birthday, Daniel!
The Arizona longhorned beetle is a specimen of Trachyderes mandibularis.  One of the larger and more colorful species down here….The specimen in the image is a female.  Males have much longer antennae, and sometimes exaggerrated jaws.
Those little flat-faced longhorns are really tough to ID, so I’m not even going to venture a guess on genus and species….
Eric

Thanks for the greeting Eric, and thanks for the identification of the Long Jawed Longhorn.

Letter 4 – Flat Faced Longhorn Beetle

 

No Idea
December 18, 2009
Hello. Found this bug in east of Napa. It was about and inch and half long. Very docile.
Paul
Napa County, California

Uncommon Longhorn:  Synaphaeta guexi
Uncommon Longhorn: Synaphaeta guexi

Dear Paul,
We are nearly certain this is Synaphaeta guexi, a Flat Faced Longhorn Beetle in the subfamily Lamiinae.  It it one of the Longhorn Borer Beetles in the family Cerambycidae.  We found a nearly identical view on BugGuide, but sadly, there is no information on the species.  One posting on BugGuide calls it the Spotted Tree Borer.  One posting to BugGuide from November 2009 states:  “this is indeed an uncommon beetle that seems to consistently evade experienced insect enthusiasts: ALL of its images we have on BG to date have been posted by first-time contributors!
”  There are also some images on the BugShutterbug website.  It appears we are currently experiencing some difficulty with new images appearing live, and we hope this is quickly remedied.

I’d agree, though this is certainly not the best angle to tell conclusively….They are not terribly small beetles from what I understand.  Was a size estimate given?
Eric

An inch and a half.
That fits, you have my full endorsement:-)
Eric

Letter 5 – Flat Faced Longhorned Borer Beetle and some lovely tattoos.

 

I would love to know what this is !
January 13, 2010
I am sending a photo of a bug to be identified- and also a photo of my tattoo work.. I am a true bug lover– since birth. They rock my whole world everyday ! I hope you enjoy the ink !
Thanks, Cecelia Horstman
Southern Oregon- Medford to be exact…

Synaphaeta guexi
Synaphaeta guexi

Hi Cecelia,
This is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae.  We believe it is Synaphaeta geuxi, an uncommon species found in Western North America.  We posted an image in December 2009 and we received a few photos in 2005/2006 as well.  Your tattoos are awesome and we are sure that our readership will agree.  We will be posting your lovely photo, though we need to clarify that What’s That Bug? is not a dating service, but rather a network of bug enthusiasts who appreciate the beauty in all living creatures.

Cecelia's Tattoos
Cecelia's Tattoos

Letter 6 – Flatfaced Longhorn: Synaphaeta guexi

 

Subject: Longhorn Beetle
Location: (South) San Jose, CA
April 8, 2013 12:45 am
I think this is a longhorn wood borer beetle, but not sure what exact species. I found it on my screen door today, April 7th, around 2pm in the afternoon. I saw two of these side by side last October in the evening on our 20+year old cherry tree.
The cherry tree has sap that ’bleeds’ out sometimes and holes from where woodpeckers peck occasionally. Not sure if that is useful info but it can’t hurt to know.
We also have a few privet trees, fruitless mulberry, and redwoods (our deck is also redwood)
Please note: when I handled it I did so as gently as possible so as not to harm it. I still have the beetle as I wanted to have it identified before releasing. I can submit more pics if necessary.
Signature: Jen

Synaphaeta guexi
Synaphaeta guexi

Hi Jen,
We have identified you beetle as
Synaphaeta guexi thanks to BugGuide, however there is no information on the beetle on BugGuide’s information page.  Back in 2005, Eric Eaton provided us with the common name Spotted Tree Borer for this species and indicated is bores into maple trees.  Your French Tips nicely show off this Flatfaced Borer Beetle.

Synaphaeta guexi
Synaphaeta guexi

 

Letter 7 – Flatfaced Longhorn from Canada

 

Subject: Long Horned Sawyer Beetle?
Location: Duncan, Vancouver Island
May 18, 2014 2:32 pm
Saw this last weekend. We were renovating an old house. Don’t know if that has anything to do with anything!
I have looked at some photos here and while this resembles some of them, I cannot find a match for the design on the carapace.
Signature: Sharon Jackson

Flatfaced Longhorn
Flatfaced Longhorn

Dear Sharon,
Your Flatfaced Longhorn is
Synaphaeta guexi.  Your individual is right on time.  According to the Data on BugGuide, this species appears in British Columbia in May and June.

Letter 8 – Flat-Faced Longhorn

 

Subject:  Bug ID request
Geographic location of the bug:  Black Hills, SD
Date: 07/01/2018
Time: 10:45 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found at high elevation in the Black Hills. Location was Kamp Kinship.
How you want your letter signed:  Jeff

Flat-Faced Longhorn

Dear Jeff,
This is one of the Flat-Faced Longhorns in the subfamily Lamiinae, but we are still attempting to locate a species identification on BugGuide.  How large was this individual?  Perhaps one of our readers will recognize the species.

Letter 9 – Female Flatfaced Longhorn: Graphisurus species

 

Subject:  Asheville, NC Insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Asheville, NC
Date: 08/06/2018
Time: 04:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, my friend found this dead insect near her house and we’d love to find out what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Curious in NC

Female Flatfaced Longhorn: Graphisurus species

Dear Curious in NC,
Because of the extremely long ovipositor, we believe this female Flatfaced Longhorn is either
Graphisurus fasciatus or  Graphisurus despectus.  Here is a BugGuide image of the latter for comparison.  The former has a greater range and BugGuide data reports it from North Carolina.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Palo Verde Borer

 

first Palo Verde Beetles of summer
Hi there —
Thought you might like these photos of a Palo Verde Borer Beetle, making his way along our driveway in Tucson. Cheryl Kohler
Tucson AZ

Hi Cheryl,
Thank you for taking the excellent photo, with the bic lighter for scale, of the Palo Verde Root Borer, Derobrachus geminatus.

Letter 2 – (No Longer) Unknown Nicaraguan Cerambycid: Deliathis nivea

 

Nicaraguan cerambycidae
I found this beetle in Jinotega, Nicaragua, and thanks to your fantastic and facinating site I was able to idetify it as a member of the family cerambycidae. With that information I’ve been all over the net but without any luck. It’s about 4 – 5 cm long. I know you can help! Best wishes,
Gerdur Gestsdottir

Hi Gerdur,
Contrary to what many might think, we do not have all the answers, and we also need to research many on the submissions that come our way. We tried for about a half an hour to identify your Cerambycid, but to no avail. Hopefully, one of our readers might have the answer or perhaps the time to continue searching.

Update: (06/23/2007) About the Unknown Nicaraguan Cerambycid
I tried with this one and did not get very far. Sources say that the insect fauna of Nicaragua, although very rich, has not yet been very well investigated because of the history of political turmoil in the country. From what I read online, one man who has done a lot of extraordinary work there is Jean-Michael Maes of the Museo Entomological, in Leon. His multi-volume book “Insectos de Nicaragua” is an attempt at a comprehensive catalogue, but I don’t think it has each individual species illustrated. Volume II is the volume that covers the beetles. There is also a website which I think is his: www.insectariumvirtual.com And Maes’ email address is: jmmaes@ibw.com.ni Perhaps Gerdur could send the image directly to Jean-Micheal Maes? If anyone would know what this is, he would.
Susan

Thanks Susan,
Knowing that insects ignore international borders, we tried searching Costa Rican insects since there is a very developed tourist trade there, but half an hour produced no leads.

Update: (06/23/2007) Nicaraguan cerambycid
Hi Guys:
The bycid from Nicaragua is Deliathis nivea. Its found from southern Mexico to Panama.
Ian

Letter 3 – Poplar Borer

 

longhorn identification
We found this beautiful longhorn on a trip to Huron Lake up here in Ontario…any clue as to what kind? thank you!
Michelle

Hi Michelle,
We are not quite sure that this is an Oak Sapling Borer, Goes tesselatus, but that is our best guess at the moment. We found an image on Cerambycids.com that looks to match quite well. We will check with Eric Eaton and we are fully confident he will provide a positive identification.

Correction: (07/24/2007) From Eric Eaton
Hi, Daniel:
The image is NOT of Goes tesselatus, but I can understand the mistake. This one is in the genus Saperda, and ‘may’ be the poplar borer, Saperda calcarata. I’m not an expert on the genus, though, so you might want to dig around a little bit more…there is much individual variation, and aging of specimens causes them to look ‘different’ as well.
Eric

Letter 4 – Rosalia batesi from Japan; NOT Blue Rosalia

 

Blue Beetle with Black Spots
Hi there,
I’ve been looking for some sort of positive ID for this beetle I found in my back garden here in Kyoto, Japan. I have seen ones similar to it last summer, however this is the first I have seen with distinctive black spots rather than solid banding. I’m hoping it’s not yet another Aldor Wood Borer…hehe! Anyhow, after looking at the numerous Aldor Borer posts on your site, I think this is possibly in the same family. Any help would be great thanks! regards,
Marty

Hi Marty,
We really had fun researching this one. Not only is your specimen in the same family as the Banded Alder Borer, it is in the same genus. There is a species in Europe known as the Blue Rosalia, Rosalia alpina, that is endangered and has been pictured on several stamps. There was also a Japanese stamp with Rosalia batesi pictured on the same page, so we continued to research. Japan issued its stamp in 1986. We got really excited when we found the MicroNation miniature model of Rosalia batesi. We also found a reference to a article published in 1998 called A Wooden House Damaged by Rosalia batesi, but we did not locate a copy of the article that was printed in Japanese.

Letter 5 – Stenelytrana emarginata

 

What’s this bug on my patio in Canyon Lake TX?
This is a beautiful bug with a copper or bronze wing covers, but we cannot find a listing for him either in the critter book or on the WWW so far. This was shot in early evening in August, 2007, and we would like some help identifying it. It flew or crawled away a few minutes later, so the photos are all we have to go by. Thank you,
Dave Helton

Hi Dave,
What an awesome beetle this is. We believe it to be Stenelytrana emarginata or another member of the genus. There are some images on BugGuide.

Letter 6 – Longicorn Beetle from New Zealand

 

Unknown Bug – New Zealand
Fri, Nov 14, 2008 at 2:17 AM
Caught this bug inside today. Never seen one before and want to know what it is.
I haven’t measured it, but I would guess about 20mm long.
The photos aren’t the best (especially #3), but hopefully good enough.
Jon
Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Unknown Longicorn
Longicorn: Xuthodes punctipennis

Hi Jon,
The best we can do at the moment is to provide the family name, Cerambycidae, for your unknown orange Longicorn Beetle. Perhaps we will have better luck in a future identify search, or perhaps a reader will provide us with a more exact identification.

Update: Wed, Nov 19, 2008 at 5:52 PM
Hi Daniel,
I have had a reply from NZ Ministry of Agriculture Biosecurity people…..
see below:
The beetle is a native longhorn, Xuthodes punctipennis (Coleoptera:
Cerambycidae). The larvae feed in dead wood of native trees and has
recently been found breeding in Eucalyptus & Acacia. The adults are
attracted to light and found on flowers in the evening.
Cheers
Jon

Letter 7 – Unknown Brazilian Longicorn Beetle is Cosmisoma chalybeipenne

 

Bug with balls in it´s antennas
Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 6:22 AM
Found in Brazil, near a Lake. 25 degrees average temperature on location.
Henryk Sasim
Nova Lima – Minas Gerais – Brazil

Unknown Longicorn from Brazil
Cosmisoma chalybeipenne Longicorn from Brazil

Hi Henryk,
All we can say for certain is that this is a Longicorn or Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae. Sadly, there are not many websites devoted to the identification of Brazilian Beetles.

Hello Bugman:
The Museo Nacional Rio de Janeiro has an excellent online searchable database of Cerambycidae Holotypes . If you go to their site and enter the Genus name Cosmisoma you will get a list of species. All of the Cosmisoma species are characterized by the curious tufted antennae. I believe C. chalybeipenne is your longicorn beetle. Regards.

Karl

Letter 8 – Parandra frenchi, NOT Poinciana Longicorn from Australia

 

Large Flying Bug with big Pincers
Mon, Dec 29, 2008 at 5:31 PM
Hi Bugman,
We have just moved into our new house here in the Barossa Valley in South Australia. It is the middle of Summer and we seem to have a rather large bug invade us! It has 6 long legs and 2 very long antennae. IT is Brown in colour and seems capable of flying but doesn’t very much. It has 2 earwig type pincers that give a nasty bite. My 3 year old was pinched by one as it was hiding in his clothing. It seems like a giant earwig, and we have had a rather bad earwig problem here, but do they grow this big? It’s about 4cm long but I’ve seen ones that are up to about 6cm. It really clings on to thing, and are hard to shake off. THey seem to like dark places like clothing on the floor and we would like to get rid of them please! I cannot send a photo yet but will if it helps. Thanks.
Kate
Barossa Valley, near Adelaide, South AUstralia

Poinciana Longicorn
Parandra frenchi

Hi Kate,
We quickly identified your Poinciana Longicorn, Agrianome spinicollis, on the Csiro Entomology web site.  We then found additional images on the Insects of Townsville Australia web site.  The Save Our Waterways Now web site states:  “A common large species in Brisbane is Agrianome Spinicollis, a large khaki species, which often breeds in rot holes of poinciana trees.”  Pages 3 through 5 of a PDF (
hawskeswood160-1 ) we found has some technical information on this Prionid that is wide spread but uncommon in Australia.

Update:  January 30, 2012
With a new photo that arrived of the true Poinciana Longicorn, we are trying to clean up some errors in our archive.  This is actually
Parandra frenchi.  Trevor made a correction in a comment in February 2010, but alas, we did not update the posting until now.  We are also going to correct another posting from NOvember 21, 2009 where we used this same photo to illustrate a letter without an image.

Letter 9 – Unknown Longicorn Beetle from India might be Olenecamptus bilobus

 

Bug identification (New Delhi, India)
Sun, Apr 12, 2009 at 1:53 PM
I saw this really weird and unusual bug in my room about an hour ago.
I stay on the outskirts of the city, quite a few open fields here.
What do you call this bug? Is it harmful in any way?
regards
Mohit
hun? By hand I guess.
New Delhi, India

Unknown Longicorn from India
Unknown Longicorn from India

Hello Mohit,
This is a Longhorned Borer Beetle or Longicorn in the family Cerambycidae.  We haven’t the time to try to research the species at the moment, but perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide a species identification.

Update Courtesy of Erwin Beyer
Unknown Longicorn beetle from India
December 14, 2013 11:11 am
Hi Daniel,
on April 22nd, 2009 Mohit posted a nice cerambycid beetle from India.  I am not sure whether you are still interested in identifying critters of such old posts?
Anyhow, this is a member of genus Olenecamptus Chevrolat 1835.  As for the species it might be
O. bilobus of which exist several subspecies.  But I am not sure…It’s a male because of the very long
antennae.
Here a link to O. bilobus: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivijayanand/8696832905/
Signature: Erwin Beyer

Thanks Erwin,
Generally we haven’t the time to go through old posts to make identifications and corrections, so when our readership is able to provide additional information on older postings, we are very appreciative.  We make appropriate updates to postings when there is relevant new information.

Letter 10 – Ugandan Longicorn: Large Brown Longhorn

 

Giant longicorn? from Uganda
Sun, Apr 19, 2009 at 4:11 AM
This giant longicorn (?) flew to my dads shirt in our hotel at nile river in Uganda. It was midday during rain session (November) in Murchison Falls National Park (North West Uganda).
Please help me identify this bug, since I cannot seem to find any reliable information about bugs in the internet other than your (truly amazing) site!
David Jule
Murchison Falls National Park, North West Uganda

Unknown Longicorn from Uganda
Unknown Longicorn from Uganda

Hi David,
That is one impressive Longicorn. Sadly, we are unsure of its exact identity. Hopefully, one of our readers will be able to supply you with a species name. We are also not certain what a Bockkäfer is, the name you have given the photo file, but we like the name.

Hi Daniel!
Bockkäfer is in fact german for “longicorn” but I can imagine that it really looks weird with this amount of “ckk” 😉
I’m going to get the “Insects of South Africa” book from the library and hopefully that will give me some ID.
I keep you on track!
Best regards!
David

Update: Giant longicorn? from Uganda
Sun, May 3, 2009 at 11:15 PM
Hey Daniel!
Thanks to Karl Adelbaur from the Landesmuseum Joanneum in Austria, the Longicorn from Uganda is a male Macrotoma palmata, (underfamily Prioninae). It’s common name is Large Brown Longhorn and it’s distributed nearly all over africa. I think it feed’s on wood, fruits and woodlike plants, especially Acacia.
Dear greetings,
David J. Mack

Letter 11 – Elm Borer

 

Fuzzy Gray & Orange Beetle?
Thu, May 14, 2009 at 3:24 PM
I found this crawling on the back of my neck. I don’t know if it flew in or crawled up. It is fuzzy and gray with orange coloring. It is about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch long. It is sitting on my dustpan and I just put it outside so it could go on it’s merry way. I can’t find any similar pictures online and was hoping you could tell me what it is.
Pamela W.
Midwest City, Oklahoma

Unknown Longicorn
Elm Borer

Hi Pamela,
We don’t recognize your Longhorned Borer Beetle or Longicorn in the family Cerambycidae. We haven’t the time to research this at the moment, but perhaps one of our faithful readers knows the identity. We will also try to contact Eric Eaton for his opinion.

Update:
Hi Bugman:
This looks like an Elm Borer Beetle ( Saperda tridentata).  Regards
Karl
http://www.biosurvey.ou.edu/okwild/misc/elmbor.html

Authors

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  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

10 thoughts on “Flat-Faced Longhorn Beetle: Quick Guide to Identification and Facts”

  1. Hello Mohit: Your longicorn beetle is Olenecamptus bilobus (Cerambycidae: Lamiinae: Dorcaschematini). There are numerous subspecies and as a group they are widespread throughout south and southeast Asia, as far north as Taiwan and Japan. The large spots on the elytra can be either red or white, usually bright red in India. Apparently the red color fades to white in dried specimens. The extremely long antennae (more than twice the body length in males) are also characteristic. In India they are considered a pest on a variety of fig species. The same beetle was posted previously on this site by Esthar from Trivandrum (November 14, 2008): http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2009/04/13/unknown-longicorn-beetle-from-india/). There are numerous photos on the internet; check out: http://www.insectsofindia.in/imagedetails.php?id=177
    Regards. K

    Reply
  2. Hello Mohit: Your longicorn beetle is Olenecamptus bilobus (Cerambycidae: Lamiinae: Dorcaschematini). There are numerous subspecies and as a group they are widespread throughout south and southeast Asia, as far north as Taiwan and Japan. The large spots on the elytra can be either red or white, usually bright red in India. Apparently the red color fades to white in dried specimens. The extremely long antennae (more than twice the body length in males) are also characteristic. In India they are considered a pest on a variety of fig species. The same beetle was posted previously on this site by Esthar from Trivandrum (November 14, 2008): http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2009/04/13/unknown-longicorn-beetle-from-india/). There are numerous photos on the internet; check out: http://www.insectsofindia.in/imagedetails.php?id=177
    Regards. K

    Reply
  3. I think the beetle mentioned from South Australia is Agrianome spinicollis but the beetle illustrated here with the original letter from Kate as the Poinciana Longicorn is actually Parandra frenchi which is in another subfamilty, the Parandrinae (Cerambycidae), and which does not occur in South Australia.

    I have reviewed the biology etc of both species in my paper (no 160) available from my website http://www.calodema.com; other papers on Agrianome spinicollis can be found in papers 112, 213 and 270 also available free from the website

    Best regards, trevor

    Reply
    • Hi Trevor,
      Thanks so much for all your identifications and corrections, and the information you provided on numerous Australian beetles. When time permits, we will change the posts to reflect your corrections.

      Reply
  4. Hi!
    Men, these longhorns are very very difficult to tell them apart, we have a lot of genera that looks like this in tribes Compsocerini, Rhopalophorini and Unxiini.
    I would say it’s Compsocerus violaceus, but would never bet on it.
    Check where hind femurs end in relation to the elytra in both species:
    https://apps2.cdfa.ca.gov/publicApps/plant/bycidDB/wdetails.asp?id=5356&w=n
    https://apps2.cdfa.ca.gov/publicApps/plant/bycidDB/wdetails.asp?id=4430&w=n

    Reply
  5. Hi!
    Men, these longhorns are very very difficult to tell them apart, we have a lot of genera that looks like this in tribes Compsocerini, Rhopalophorini and Unxiini.
    I would say it’s Compsocerus violaceus, but would never bet on it.
    Check where hind femurs end in relation to the elytra in both species:
    https://apps2.cdfa.ca.gov/publicApps/plant/bycidDB/wdetails.asp?id=5356&w=n
    https://apps2.cdfa.ca.gov/publicApps/plant/bycidDB/wdetails.asp?id=4430&w=n

    Reply

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