Thursday, 5 June 2014

Against the trend …

Agapanthia villosoviridescens

The Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn (A. villosoviridescens)

The Cerambycidae, the Longhorn beetles, are a very impressive group of insects. The family, which includes some of Britain’s most impressive beetles, currently numbers around 70 species. Many striking examples can be found abroad. They are predominantly beetles that develop in wood, with the adults being active during the spring and summer months. However, A. villosoviridescens is an exception to this rule, developing in the stems of a variety of herbaceous plants including Cardus, Urtica, Angelica, Chaerophyllum, Artemisia, Salvia and Aconitum. The larvae develop in the above-ground plant tissues. They cut off the plant stalk before pupation, create the pupal cells near ground level, and the adults leave the stalks via a newly created exit hole in the side of the remaining stalk. The above specimen, one of four observed, was found sitting on Hemp-agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum) at a West Sussex wetland site.

My first encounter with this impressive species …

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