|Red-Shouldered Pine Borer – Stictoleptura canadensis|
Family Cerambycidae – Longhorned Beetles
Beetles Main | Beetles Index | Longhorns | Leaf Beetles | Soldier | Blister | Lady | Scarab
Live adult beetles photographed at Forest County, Pennsylvania. Size: 15mm not including antennae
Cerambycidae is a cosmopolitan family of beetles characterized by their extremely long antennae, which are often longer than the beetle's body. There are over 20,000 species described. Many longhorns are serious agricultural pests, as their larvae have the unfortunate habit of boring wood. The Asian Longhorn beetle, for instance has been responsible for the preventive destruction of thousands of trees in northern Illinois and other locations in the United States.
Larval habits: Most species feed within dead, dying or even decaying wood, but some taxa can use living plant tissue. Girdlers (adults of the Onciderini, larvae of genera in the tribes Methiini, Hesperophanini and Elaphidiini) sever living branches or twigs, with the larvae developing within the nutrient-rich distal portion. The larvae of a few species move freely through the soil, feeding externally upon roots or tunneling up under the root crown.
Many adults (especially the brightly colored ones) feed on flowers. Adult feeding requirements are variable, with some species taking nourishment from sap, leaves, blossoms, fruit, bark, and fungi, often not associated with larval hosts; others take little or no nourishment beyond water. Life span in temperate regions typically range from 1 to 3 years, but cycles of 2-3 months to decades have been documented. Most of the lifetime is spent in the larval stage; the adults usually emerge, disperse, reproduce, and die within a few days to months. Cellulose digestion appears to be aided primarily by enzymes rather than symbiotic microorganisms. In many cases, Cerambycidae are primary borers, providing a vital "first step" in the biorecycling of wood. 
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 Index | Longhorns | Leaf Beetles | Soldier | Blister | Lady | Scarab