Location: North-East Goldfields, Western Australia
January 24, 2012 6:15 pm
I’m currently working in the Goldfields of Western Australia. This is on a new mine development in a very remote location to the north east of the city of Kalgoorlie. I found this interesting specimen. I think its a beetle and a rather attractive one with its strips. Its currently summer time here, but we have had a fair bit of rain. Hope you can help me identify it!
This strikingly beautiful beetle is a member of the family Cerambycidae, commonly called Longhorns, Longicorns or Bycids. Our initial search has not turned up a conclusive species identification. Insects from the more populous eastern parts of Australia are more available on the internet.
We continued to search after posting and stumbled upon the Silver Striped Beetle, Rhytiphora dallasi, on the Shell Picture Card website which states: “Card data: “This is another magnificent Longicorn – a native of Western Australia. It measures about 1 1/2 inches in length and has a distinctive silvery white body adorned with black lines. This beetle is only found during the warm months. Its grubs are borers in native timbers. Family:
Cerambycidae. ” Comments: Nothing appears to have been written on the biology of this species since publication of the Shell Picture Card series.” The Antennae of the specimen on Csiro or the pair on the Worldwide Cerambycidae PHoto Gallery don’t seem to match as they are not striped like your individual. The related Rhytiphora macleayi from the Agriculture of Western Australia website seems a better match.
3 thoughts on “Unknown Striped Longicorn from Australia may be Rhytiphora macleayi”
Your striped longicorn beetle is indeed Rhytiphora macleayi which is easily distinguised from R. dallasi by the presence of the yellow coloration over most of the beetle (R. dallasi is purely black and white). The silvery appearance of both species is due to the fine, closely packed white hairs that form the stripes. R. macleayi is not a commonly encountered species, with less than 20 specimens known among the major museums and institutions in Australia. Interestingly almost all of these specimens were taken around Kookynie, North of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, however there is at least one specimen that was collected North-East of Alice Springs, over 1600km away! Most of the Rhytiphora genus feed on Acacias as larvae and a species as large as R. macleayi would most likely feed on Acacia aenura (commonly known as mulga) or similar species.
Thank you so much for the confirmation Mark, and for the informative comment as well. It is greatly appreciated.
Hi Josh, I Mark’s ID is 100% correct. Well done Mark. As many of the known specimens were collected around Kookynie, I suspect they were collected there by Horatio (‘Horrie’) W. Brown in the 1920’s – 1930’s. Note that while the 1st Volume of CSIRO’s ‘Longhorns of Australia’ treats this species as a synonym of Rhytiphora browni, that follows an earlier synonmy. Rhytiphora macleayi (one large spine on each elytron, yellow between two widely-separated outer costae in both sexes) is a distinct species from Rhytiphora dallasi (all white, one small apical spine on each elytron) and Rhytiphora browni (two apical spines on each elytron) and should regain its specific status when the revision of Rhytiphora that is currently being undertaken by an ANIC staff memberin CSIRO is published.