Family: Cerambycidae (longicorn beetles, timber beetles)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Arthopoda > Mandibulata > Atelocerata > Panhexapoda > Hexapoda > Insecta (insects) > Dicondyla > Pterygota > Metapterygota > Neoptera > Eumetabola > Holometabola > Coleoptera (beetles) > Polyphaga > Superfamily: Chrysomeloidea

Striking beetles with distinctive long, thin antennae that can be up to 4 times the length of the body. They are small to very large in size (3-100mm). The colouration varies. The nocturnal species tend to be cryptic coloured and the diurnal species are often brightly coloured or metallic coloured.

Adults feed on wood, roots, pollen, leaves or nectar. Eggs are laid in, stems, roots and timeber - dead or living. Larvae then burrow into the wood and this family therefore includes many timber pests.

The problem Fig Tree Borer, Phryneta spinator is included in this family.

Some subfamilies in southern Africa

Phoracantha semipunctata

Promeces longipes

Subfamily Cerambycinae.

Phoracantha semipunctata. Larvae feed in Eucalyptus wood. [image by H. Robertson ].

 

Subfamily Cerambycinae.

Promeces longipes. Metallic longicorn beetle, 14mm. Photographed in South Coast Strandveld. [[image by H. Robertson ].

 

Phryneta spinator

Subfamily Lamiinae

Phryneta spinator, Fig borer, 35mm. [image by H. Robertson ].

 

Subfamily Lamiinae.

Tragocephala formosa, Orange-tree borer, 30mm. [image by M. Picker & C. Griffiths , from Field Guide to Insects of South Africa, used with permission].

Subfamily Lamiinae.

Ceroplesis capensis, 37mm. [image by M. Picker & C. Griffiths , from Field Guide to Insects of South Africa, used with permission].

 

Subfamily Lamiinae.

Prosopocera lactator, Turquoise Longhorn, 33mm. [image by M. Picker & C. Griffiths , from Field Guide to Insects of South Africa, used with permission].

Subfamily Prioninae.

Acanthophorus confinis, Giant Longhorn, 55-90mm. [image by A. Weaving , from Field Guide to Insects of South Africa, used with permission].

Subfamily Prioninae.

Acanthophorus confinis larva. [image by A. Weaving , from Field Guide to Insects of South Africa, used with permission].

 

Publications

  • Hanks, L.M. 1999. Influence of the larval host plant on reproductive strategies of cerambycid beetles. Annual Review of Entomology 44: 483-505.

 

Page by Margie Cochrane


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