|Flower Longhorn Beetle - Typocerus velutinus|
Family Cerambycidae - Longhorn Beetles / Subfamily Lepturinae - Flower Longhorns
Live adult beetles photographed in the wild at DuPage County, Illinois. Size: 15mm
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Species epithet Latin velutinus, "downy". Also commonly called banded longhorn . Adults are voracious consumers of pollen and nectar. Larvae feed on decaying hardwoods. Range: Eastern United States.
30mm long with antennae, this beetle is on the small side for a member of a subfamily commonly called flower longhorns, after their habitat and principle food source. Lepturinae is a large assemblage of beetles with about 360 species in 80 genera in the New World. Adult beetles eat pollen, and this beetle is fairly well dusted with it. Beetles have been pollinating plants for much longer than any other insect.
The comparatively narrow pronotum and tapered elytra give this subfamily its characteristic broad-shouldered look. The eyes are much larger and more bulbous, and they do not wrap around the antenna base like many other longhorn, i.e. the red milkweed beetle .
With over 20,000 species described, Cerambycidae is a large family. Many are serious pests, with the larvae boring into wood, where they can cause extensive damage to either living trees or untreated lumber, and adult beetles feed on various plants, sometimes causing grave harm. A number of species mimic ants, bees, or wasps (see Locust Borer).
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Order Coleoptera: Beetles are the dominant form of life on earth: one of every five living species is a beetle. Coleoptera is the largest order in the animal kingdom, containing a third of all insect species. There are about 400,000 known species worldwide, ~30,000 of which live in North America. Beetles live in nearly every habitat, and for every kind of food, there's probably a beetle species that eats it.
Beetles first appeared during the lower Permian period, about 270 mya
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