Longicorn from South Africa

Subject:  Just curious
Geographic location of the bug:  Cape Town
Date: 11/10/2017
Time: 12:08 PM EDT
My brother in law wants to know what this is, as he has a small child.
How you want your letter signed:  Emile


Dear Emile,
This is a Longicorn or Longhorned Borer Beetle in the family Cerambycidae.  To the best of our knowlege, no member of the family is poisonous or venomous, but many species do have strong mandibles that might produce a painful bite if the beetle is carelessly handled.  Its colors are beautiful, and we wish you had provided a higher resolution image.  Red and black are considered aposomatic or warning colors, and many insects with such coloration, like the North American Velvet Ant or the South African Milkweed Grasshoppers are poisonous, or have a painful venomous sting, but in the case of your Longicorn, this is a harmless camouflage.  Biodiversity Explorer also uses the name Timber Beetle for members of the family, and that is where we located a matching image of
Ceroplesis capensis.  The Natural History Collections site has a nice image of a mounted specimen. If you do have a higher resolution image, please send it.

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