Huhu Beetle from New Zealand

Really Creepy Bug
January 17, 2010
Okay i was just walking into my house and find this huge weird fella on the bottom of my door.
I freaked out at first but i grew fascinated into catching it and just have a closer look at it.
So i did.. and i fed it a giant moth at night.. after seeing this thing eat the moth i was just scared lol
the next morning i just let it go in the forest..
please let me know what this is!!!
Josh Ryu
New Zealand

Huhu Beetle

Hi Josh,
This is a Longhorned Borer Beetle in the subfamily Prioninae, known as the Prionid Beetles. While trying to identify it, we found this nice link to information on the Giant Fiji Longhorn Borer, Xixuthrus heros, with awesome vintage images of the indigenous people of Fiji eating the grubs.  Continued searching led us to a Wikipedia page on the Huhu Beetle, Prionoplus reticularis, and we verified that identification with other websites.  Like many other Prionids, the grubs of the Huhu Beetle are edible, and were considered to be a delicacy among the Maori, according to the TrekNature website.  The Huhu Beetle is the largest beetle in New Zealand.  To the best of our knowledge, the Longhorned Borer Beetles are not predators, and we are surprised at your claim that it fed upon a moth.

3 thoughts on “Huhu Beetle from New Zealand”

  1. Wow!! Totally great to see an image of this species, and especially to capture a copy of that paper — I’ve been amassing a library of information these days, and this is a fine addition to that.

    There are still many questions, like:
    Is this food still utilized/ If not, why not? How long is its life cycle? Is it seasonal available, and found throughout the NZ islands? Is it part of any Maori cultural lore [as edible insects are elsewhere in the world]? Has its consumption had any impact on its abundance of the species?

    I’d be grateful for any accurate answers.



  2. Are the Huhu beetles spread out in US, NY state? I was taking apart an old hemlock stump in my garden, dug up about a dozen of huge white larvae and fed them to my chickens. They loved it!

    • To the best of our knowledge, the Huhu Beetle is not found in New York, however, there are over 1000 Longhorned Borer Beetles from the same family Cerambycidae, according to BugGuide, that are found in North America. Our guess is a different species in the same family.


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