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|Long-horned Beetle - Macrodontia cervicornis|
|Topic Started: Aug 10 2012, 03:35 PM (3,775 Views)|
|linnaeus1758||Aug 10 2012, 03:35 PM Post #1|
Long-horned Beetle - Macrodontia cervicornis
Species: Macrodontia cervicornis
Size: 100 - 172 mm
Range: South America.
The largest and most widespread of the longhorn beetles, this gigantic species is instantly recognisable for its striking patterning and enlarged jaws. The jaws reach the greatest length in the males, and are inwardly curved with a serrated inner edge. The head and body colouration is brown and black, with irregular, ornate black markings on the wing cases (elytra). Despite its great size, this species is capable of flight, raising the wing cases and directing them forwards to allow room for the wings to beat. The larvae of Macrodontia cervicornis are extremely large, reaching up to 21 centimetres in length and, unusually for beetle larvae, are coloured brown rather than white.
The female is of about 100 - 110 mm. in length, and the male, 130 to a maximum registred of 172 mm.
Little is currently known about the biology of Macrodontia cervicornis. It is active at night, and, like other longhorn beetles, probably feeds on plant material, such as sap, leaves, blossoms, fruit, bark and fungi. Most of this species’ life is spent in the larval stage, which can last for 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 ten centimetres wide.
Distribution and habitat
Macrodontia cervicornis is found in the Amazon Basin, occurring in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, eastern Ecuador, Brazil, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.
They inhabits tropical forests.
Due to the lengthy larval period of this species, it is highly vulnerable to the effects of the indiscriminate forest clearance that is occurring throughout its range. Deforestation not only drastically reduces the number of individuals surviving to reproductive age, but also removes sites in which to lay eggs. Macrodontia cervicornis is also in great demand for insect collections, and specimens are frequently recorded in the international insect trade.
It has been recommended that international trade in Macrodontia cervicornis should be restricted under the EU-Wildlife Trade Regulation, and also possibly under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). In addition to the threat of trade, the designation of more extensive protected areas is necessary to reduce habitat loss and ensure the survival of this remarkable species.
Other members of the genus
Edited by linnaeus1758, Sep 16 2012, 12:28 PM.
|Scalesofanubis||Aug 11 2012, 02:40 AM Post #2|
|That is quite a beastie, that is.|
|linnaeus1758||Aug 11 2012, 04:55 AM Post #3|
|And a living jewel.|
|linnaeus1758||Sep 16 2012, 12:29 PM Post #4|
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