Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Flower longhorn beetle

Longhorn Beetles (Family Cerambycidae) have antennae that are as long or even longer than their entire body. They spend their larval life boring in wood. Some of the species can cause damage to live trees. Other species primarily bore into dead or down trees. The adults leave their protective tunnels and fly to find food, mates and colonize new trees.

Strophiona nitens is one of the so called flower longhorn beetles that frequently visits flowers to feed on pollen and nectar. The beetles do not damage the flowers. They contribute to the festive nature of a butterfly garden. Our insect of the day has distinctive black and yellow bands on its elytra (cover wings). A beautiful little beetle with many natural enemies, especially parasitic wasps and the larvae of certain other beetles. Many birds feed on adults and woodpeckers are fond of the larvae. Lizards sometimes lie in wait and capture adults when the beetles land on bark to mate or lay eggs.

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