Longhorn beetle

The longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae; also known as long-horned or longhorn beetles or longicorns) are a cosmopolitan family of beetles,[2] typically characterized by extremely long antennae, which are often as long as or longer than the beetle's body. In various members of the family, however, the antennae are quite short (e.g., Neandra brunnea) and such species can be difficult to distinguish from related beetle families such as the Chrysomelidae. The family is large, with over 26,000 species described, slightly more than half from the Eastern Hemisphere. Several are serious pests. The larvae, called roundheaded borers, bore into wood, where they can cause extensive damage to either living trees or untreated lumber (or, occasionally, to wood in buildings; the old-house borer, Hylotrupes bajulus, is a particular problem indoors). A number of species mimic ants, bees, and wasps, though a majority of species are cryptically colored. The rare titan beetle (Titanus giganteus) from northeastern South America is often considered the largest (though not the heaviest, and not the longest including legs) insect, with a maximum known body length of just over 16.7 cm (6.6 in).[3] The scientific name of this beetle family goes back to a figure from Greek mythology: after an argument with nymphs, the shepherd Cerambus was transformed into a large beetle with horns.

Batus barbicornis MHNT femelle
Batus barbicornis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Superfamily: Chrysomeloidea
Family: Cerambycidae
Latreille, 1802 [1]

Ten; see text


Decora Longicorn Beetle
Decora longicorn (Amphirhoe decora)

As with many large families, different authorities have tended to recognize many different subfamilies, or sometimes split subfamilies off as separate families entirely (e.g., Disteniidae, Oxypeltidae, and Vesperidae);[4] there is thus some instability and controversy regarding the constituency of the Cerambycidae.[5] There are few truly defining features for the group as a whole, at least as adults, as there are occasional species or species groups which may lack any given feature; the family and its closest relatives, therefore, constitute a taxonomically difficult group, and relationships of the various lineages are still poorly understood.[6]


The ten subfamilies are:[7]

Notable genera and species

Aristobia approximator
Common tuft bearing longhorn beetle (Aristobia approximator)

See also


  1. ^ "Cerambycidae Latreille, 1802". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved June 6, 2011.
  2. ^ Gomes Gonçalves, Marcos Paulo (December 2017). "Relationship Between Meteorological Conditions and Beetles in Mata de Cocal". Revista Brasileira de Meteorologia. 32 (4): 543–554. doi:10.1590/0102-7786324003. ISSN 0102-7786.
  3. ^ Max Barclay (2010). "Titanus giganteus Linnaeus (1771)". Natural History Museum. Retrieved June 6, 2011.
  4. ^ Sergio Antonio Vanin & Sergio Ide (2002). "Classificação comentada de Coleoptera" [An annotated classification of the Coleoptera]. In C. Costa; S. A. Vanin; J. M. Lobo & A. Melic (eds.). Proyecto de Red Iberoamericana de Biogeografía y Entomología Sistemática PrIBES 2002 (PDF). Monografias Tercer Milenio (M3M) (in Portuguese). 3. pp. 193–206. ISBN 84-922495-8-7.
  5. ^ Miguel A. Monné (2006). "Catalogue of the Cerambycidae (Coleoptera) of the Neotropical Region. Part III. Subfamilies Parandrinae, Prioninae, Anoplodermatinae, Aseminae, Spondylidinae, Lepturinae, Oxypeltinae, and addenda to the Cerambycinae and Lamiinae" (PDF excerpt). Zootaxa. 1212: 1–244. ISBN 1-877407-96-8.
  6. ^ Arnett, et al. (2002). American Beetles, Vol. 2. CRC Press, 861 pp.
  7. ^ Patrice Bouchard; Yves Bousquet; Anthony E. Davies; Miguel A. Alonso-Zarazaga; John F. Lawrence; Chris H. C. Lyal; Alfred F. Newton; Chris A. M. Reid; Michael Schmitt; S. Adam Ślipiński; Andrew B. T. Smith (2010). "Family-group names in Coleoptera (Insecta)". ZooKeys. 88: 1–972. doi:10.3897/zookeys.88.807. PMC 3088472. PMID 21594053. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21.

Further reading

  • Monné, Miguel A. & Hovore, Frank T. (2005) Electronic Checklist of the Cerambycidae of the Western Hemisphere. PDF Cerambycids.com

External links


Agapanthia is a genus of flat-faced longhorn beetle belonging to the family Cerambycidae, subfamily Lamiinae.

Asian long-horned beetle

The Asian long-horned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis), also known as the starry sky, sky beetle, or ALB, is native to eastern China, and Korea. This species has now been accidentally introduced into the United States, where it was first discovered in 1996, as well as Canada, and several countries in Europe, including Austria, France, Germany, Italy and UK. This beetle is believed to have been spread from Asia in solid wood packaging material.

Cactus longhorn beetle

Cactus longhorn beetles (the genus Moneilema) are large, flightless, black beetles found in North American deserts of the western United States and northern Mexico. M. gigas is native to the Sonoran desert at elevations below 4900 feet (1500m). The front wings of these beetles are fused forming a single, hardened shell, from which the genus derives its Latin name. The genus includes twenty species.Longhorn cactus beetles feed on chollas and prickly pear cacti, and are known to feed on saguaro seedlings. Larvae bore into cactus roots and stems, sometimes killing more susceptible individuals. Adults also feed on the surface of cacti.Most Moneilema species are active during mid or late summer - the adults typically emerging during the summer monsoon season. Some Moneilema species in central and southern Mexico are reported to be active all year.

Like many flightless beetles, these beetles have limited wing musculature with a rounded abdomen and thorax, similar in appearance to a number of other flightless desert beetles. Cactus longhorn beetles resemble and mimic the behavior of noxious stink beetles in the genus Eleodes.


Cerambycinae is a subfamily of the longhorn beetle family (Cerambycidae). The subfamily includes over 715 genera, which, in total, consist of some 3,900 species. The subfamily is most widely distributed in the Americas, with 430 species in 130 genera in its neotropical regions. Within the family, the only subfamily of comparable diversity is the Lamiinae.


Dorcasominae is a subfamily of the longhorn beetle family (Cerambycidae). The family includes only two tribes, Apatophysini and Dorcasomini, but numerous genera.


Hylotrupes is a monotypic genus of woodboring beetles in the family Cerambycidae, the longhorn beetles. The sole species, Hylotrupes bajulus, is known by several common names, including house longhorn beetle, old house borer, and European house borer. Originating in Europe, and having been spread in timber and wood products, the beetle now has a practically cosmopolitan distribution, including Southern Africa, Asia, the Americas, Australia, and much of Europe and the Mediterranean.

Hylotrupes bajulus preferentially attacks freshly produced sapwood of softwood timber, but can also be found in the sapwood of certain hardwood species such as oak. In softwood such as spruce, it will also attack the heartwood. Contrary to the name "old-house borer", the species is more often found in new houses; maybe because the beetles are attracted to the higher resin content of wood harvested more recently than 10 years earlier. If old wood is attacked, the damage is usually greater. As the nutrient content of wood decreases with age the larva has to consume larger amounts of wood. In Australia the infection of home construction is mainly caused by the use of wood already infected with the eggs or larvae of the beetles if the wood is not properly kiln-dried in production.The life cycle from egg to beetle typically takes two to ten years, depending on the type of wood, its age and quality, its moisture content, and also depending on environmental conditions such as temperature. Only the larvae feed on the wood. Larvae usually pupate just beneath the wood surface and eclose in mid to late summer. Once the exoskeleton of the newly emerged adult beetle has hardened sufficiently the adults cut oval exit holes 6–10 mm (¼ to 3/8 in) in diameter, typically leaving coarse, powdery frass in the vicinity of the hole. Adults are most active in the summer. They are brown to black, appearing grey because of a fine grey furriness on most of the upper surface. On the pronotum two conspicuously hairless tubercles are characteristic of the species.


Lamiinae, commonly called flat-faced longhorns, are a subfamily of the longhorn beetle family (Cerambycidae). The subfamily includes over 750 genera, rivaled in diversity within the family only by the subfamily Cerambycinae.


Lepturinae, the lepturine beetles, is a subfamily of the longhorn beetle family (Cerambycidae), containing about 150 genera worldwide. This lineage is most diverse in the Northern Hemisphere. Until recently the subfamily Necydalinae was included within the lepturines, but this has been recently recognized as a separate subfamily. Nine tribes are usually recognized today, with a tenth, Caraphiini, created in 2016. A few genera are of uncertain placement within the subfamily.

Usually among the smaller members of their family, these beetles are of a slender shape – particularly the thorax is markedly less wide than the wings, while the elytra tips are often pointed. They differ from most other longhorn beetles in that the antennae are not directly adjacent to the compound eyes. Hence, the latter are generally oval in outline, rather than having an indentation where the antennae originate, or even being divided by them. In addition, sexual dichromatism is not infrequently seen in lepturines; usually, longhorn beetles are not dimorphic or only have longer antennae in males.

List of longhorn beetle (Cerambycidae) species recorded in Britain

The following is a list of the longhorn beetles recorded in Great Britain. For other beetles, see List of beetle species recorded in Britain.

Macrodontia cervicornis

Macrodontia cervicornis (Linnaeus, 1758), also known as the Sabertooth Longhorn beetle, is one of the largest beetles, if one allows for the enormous mandibles of the males, from which it derives both of the names in its binomen: Macrodontia means "long tooth", and cervicornis means "deer antler". Measurements of insect length normally exclude legs, jaws, or horns, but if jaws are included, the longest known specimen of M. cervicornis is 17.7 cm; the longest known specimen of Dynastes hercules, a beetle species with enormous horns, is 17.5 cm, and the longest known beetle excluding either jaws or horns is Titanus giganteus, at 16.7 cm.Most of this species’ life is spent in the larval stage, which can last up to 10 years, while its adult phase is likely to last no more than a few months during which time dispersal and reproduction take place. The female lays eggs under the bark of dead or dying softwood trees, and once hatched, the larvae burrow into the rotting wood, creating extensive galleries over a metre long and 10 cm wide.


Necydalinae is a small subfamily of the longhorn beetle family (Cerambycidae), historically treated as a tribe within the subfamily Lepturinae, but recently recognized as a separate subfamily. These beetles are unusual for cerambycids, in that the elytra are quite short; they are thus rather similar in appearance to rove beetles, though most are actually bee or wasp mimics.


Petrognatha is a monotypic longhorn beetle genus belonging to the subfamily Lamiinae, tribe Petrognathini. It was described by Johan Christian Fabricius in 1792. Its only species, Petrognatha gigas, the giant African longhorn beetle, described in the same year by Fabricius, is found in Central Africa.

The larvae bore into the wood of fallen Acacia trees and the adults strongly resemble the bark. Furthermore, the antennae and legs resemble twigs when they are extended forward.

Phryneta spinator

The Fig-tree Borer Longhorn Beetle, or Fig Tree Borer, (Phryneta spinator) is a species of beetle in the family Cerambycidae. It was described by Johan Christian Fabricius in 1792, originally under the genus Lamia. It has a wide distribution throughout Africa. It feeds on Pyrus communis, Ficus carica, Salix babylonica, Cupressus sempervirens, and Vitis vinifera.

Pogonocherus hispidulus

Pogonocherus hispidulus, the greater thorn-tipped longhorn beetle, is a species of flat-faced longhorns beetle in the family Cerambycidae.

Rhagium bifasciatum

Rhagium bifasciatum, sometimes called the two-banded longhorn beetle, is one of the most common longhorn beetles in Europe, Turkey and the Caucasus, although it is absent from the far north-east of Europe and some offshore islands, such as Malta. It may reach 22 millimetres (0.87 in) long and can be distinguished by the two prominent pale yellow bands on each of the elytra, although up to seventeen different patterns have been recognised.

Like other longhorn beetles, R. bifasciatum lays its eggs in dead wood, mostly of coniferous trees, where they bore deep, broad tunnels until they are ready to pupate after about two years. The adults feed on a wide variety of coniferous and broad-leaved trees.

Sternotomis variabilis

Sternotomis variabilis, the Lesser Jewel Longhorn Beetle, is a species of flat-faced longhorn beetles belonging to the family Cerambycidae.

Tetropium fuscum

Tetropium fuscum, the brown spruce longhorn beetle, is a species of beetle in the family Cerambycidae. It was described by Johan Christian Fabricius in 1787. Tetropium fuscum is native to Europe and Northern Asia, and has been introduced to Nova Scotia, Canada. Brown spruce longhorn is a pest of spruce trees.

Valley elderberry longhorn beetle

The valley elderberry longhorn beetle, (Desmocerus californicus dimorphus), is a subspecies of longhorn beetle native to the riparian forests of the Central Valley of California from Redding to Bakersfield. It is listed as a federally threatened species, although it is likely to be removed from the endangered species list.

Xylotoles costatus

Xylotoles costatus, the Pitt Island longhorn beetle, is a species of beetle in the family Cerambycidae. It is endemic to the Chatham Islands. Once thought to be extinct, it is now known to survive on South East Island/Rangatira; being therefore an example of a so-called "Lazarus taxon".

Extant Coleoptera families

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