Giant longhorn beetle


Giant longhorn beetle

Enoplocerus armillatus

Peru

Z.1983.224.2

The enormously long antennae of these beetles help them sniff out potential mates, food and the right trees to lay their eggs on.

Where can you see them? All over South America including Argentina, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Panama and Suriname.

What do they eat? The adults feed on fruit and are attracted by certain trees saps. The beetle grubs bore into the roots of trees and then feed in the decaying wood. They like the roots of plants such as the pink trumpet tree, Handroanthus impetiginosus.

Why are they important? Longhorn beetles are key to forest regeneration. Those that feed on healthy trees often kill them. This leaves gaps in the canopy, which lets new forest plants germinate and grow.  The holes their grubs leave in the wood when they feed make it easier for fungi, bacteria and other invertebrates to move in and breakdown the wood more quickly into nutrients that can be used by the growing forest.