Thursday, August 14, 2008

Coração de Negro, continued

The long-horned beetle took a saw to this rather thick branch of the coração de negro tree. I'm joking because the beetle doesn't actually have a saw-like mandible, as reported. She actually chews through the wood. I assume by going around and around. It sure is a neat cut. I don't think I could do so well, even with a carpenter's saw.

4 comments:

Ted C. MacRae said...

I sure would like to see a picture of the beetle - this is surely the work of a member of the tribe Onciderini, which girdle these branches to provide freshly-killed wood to feed the larvae that will hatch from eggs they lay in the cut branch. The tribe includes such speciose genera as Oncideres and Lochmaeocles. They are large, robust, impressive beetles.

Steven Alexander said...

> Ted, I'd love to see the beetles myself. I've seen a lot their carpentry work over the years, but no sign of them. Perhaps it's because the eggs are laid in the part of the branch tat remains up in the tree. I've never eggs or larvae on those that fall to the ground.

Ted C. MacRae said...

The eggs are in the cut part of the branch - look for little paired 'niks', often just below the base of a small side twig. The best way to see the adults is to catch them in action. When you see branches on the ground, inspect lower branches (if you can) for adults doing their thing. The adults should also be attracted to lights at night if that is possible. They really are spectacular beetles to see!

Steven Alexander said...

> Ted, little by little I'm getting the picture. I thought for some reason that the eggs were laid in the cut limb up in the tree. Knowing that it's the part that falls on the ground, that makes it easier for me to look for them. Sometimes there are a dozen or more branches on the ground.