Thursday, September 27, 2007

Rosalia longicorn

I am almost sure this is going to be a new one for you... I was in the Bukk Hills in NE Hungary the other day, a quick trip to check a nice beechwood out. Crawling along a rotting fallen log was a long-horned beetle, a rosalia longicorn. There are hundreds of species of long-horned beetles (Cerambycidae) and their larvae are experts at nibbling into tree-bark and timber in mature forests, a habit which does not endear them to foresters, but woodpeckers just love them, especially White-backeds and Three-toeds. In their adult stage many long-horned beetles are large, attractive insects with males in particular sporting impressive long antennae. The beech forests of the region (such as the one in the Bukk I visited) are home to rosalia longicorn (Rosalia alpina) a really handsome member of the family with its light blue body, legs and antennae all dotted with black. Though both sexes have long antennae those of males, at between 3-4cm long, are twice the length of their body. No photo, sorry, but Google the name and I'm sure it will be on the net somewhere.

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