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Species Notebook:

  • Black-spotted Longhorn Beetle

    Rhagium mordax: the black-spotted pliers support beetle

    Post date: Friday, 26 June, 2015 - 00:00
    Longhorn beetles are not that common so it is always a bit of a thrill to find one, especially one you have not seen before. This one, that goes under the catchy name of Rhagium mordax, was on rowan blossom at the Arne RSPB reserve. 
     
    It was amazing that this beetle, once aware of my intruding camera lens (and I admit it was very close), just dropped off of the flower to the ground and there, against the moss, it was so well camouflaged it took me a little while to find it again. This seemed to be a pretty effective safety device. I felt a bit guilty at first thinking it had a long climb back up to the blossom but of course it can fly so I am sure it was not long before it was tucking in to its lunch again.
     
    This species lays its eggs on stumps and fallen trees and that is precisely why you will see a lot of dead wood as you walk around the Shipstall area of the reserve. Conservation measures do work!
     
    Wikipedia suggests the common English name for this species is the black-spotted pliers support beetle! I think Rhagium mordax is easier to remember!

     

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