Musk beetle

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Musk beetle
Aromia moschata on plant.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Cerambycidae
Subfamily: Cerambycinae
Genus: Aromia
Species: A. moschata
Binomial name
Aromia moschata
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The musk beetle (Aromia moschata) is a Eurasian species of longhorn beetle belonging to the subfamily Cerambycinae, tribe Callichromatini. Its name comes from the delicate musky smell it emits when menaced.

Description[edit]

This beetle is characterised by very long antennae (like all other cerambycids[1]) and a somewhat coppery or greenish metallic tint. The typical form, characterised by a pronotum with a metallic color, is widespread in Europe, except for most of Spain and the Southern Italy. In such regions, in North Africa, and in Asia to Japan, the species is represented by some subspecies characterised by a more or less red pronotum. The antennae are longer than the entire head and body length in male and as long as body in females. Nevertheless, the Oriental subspecies have usually shorter antennae.

Close-up of the mouthparts

The musk beetle can be found in Great Britain locally, for example at Caldicot and Wentloog Levels otherwise known as Gwent Levels SSSI[2]

Biology[edit]

The adults are usually found on leaves, especially those of the willow trees, where the larva of this species lives. The secretion with the characteristic musky smell is produced in thoracic glands, and is expelled through openings located on the distal part of the metasternum, near the hind legs articulation. The secretion was formerly supposed to contain salicylaldehyde or a salicylic ether, but there is now evidence that it consists instead mainly of four different monoterpenes,[3] among which rose oxide, one of the most important fragrances in perfumery.

Musk beetle (Aromia moschata)

Systematic[edit]

  • subspecies Aromia moschata ambrosiaca Steven & Sherman, 1809
  • form Aromia moschata ambrosiaca f. typica
  • aberration A. m. a. ab. laevithorax Plavilstshikov
  • aberration A. m. a. ab. thoracica Fischer
  • aberration A. m. a. ab. melancholica Reitter
  • aberration A. m. a. ab. obscurata Plavilstshikov
  • aberration A. m. a. ab. notaticollis Pic
  • aberration A. m. a. ab. bineava Reitter
  • subspecies Aromia moschata cruenta Bogatschev, 1962
  • subspecies Aromia moschata jankovskyi Danilevsky, 2007
  • subspecies Aromia moschata moschata (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • form Aromia moschata moschata f. typica
  • aberration A. m. m. ab. auctumnalis Westwood, 1881
  • aberration A. m. m. ab. combinata Podaný, 1957
  • aberration A. m. m. ab. cupricollis Pic, 1941
  • aberration A. m. m. ab. laevicollis Reitter, 1907
  • aberration A. m. m. ab. nigra Schil., 1889
  • aberration A. m. m. ab. nigrocyanea Reitter, 1906
  • aberration A. m. m. ab. nigrolaevigata Plavilstshikov, 1934
  • aberration A. m. m. ab. perroudi Pic, 1941
  • aberration A. m. m. ab. picipes Reitter, 1906
  • aberration A. m. m. ab. pulchra Podaný, 1953
  • aberration A. m. m. ab. rumenica Podaný, 1953
  • aberration A. m. m. ab. sekerai Podaný, 1957
  • aberration A. m. m. ab. semitestacea Heyden, 1941
  • aberration A. m. m. ab. steinmanni Tippmann, 1956
  • aberration A. m. m. ab. versicolora Donisthorpe
  • subspecies Aromia moschata orientalis Plavilstshikov, 1932
  • subspecies Aromia moschata sumbarensis Danilevsky, 2007
  • subspecies Aromia moschata thoracica Fisher, 1824
  • subspecies Aromia moschata vetusta Jankovsky, 1934

References[edit]

  1. ^ A review of the chemical ecology of the Cerambycidae (Coleoptera), Jeremy D. Allison, John H. Borden and Steven J. Seybold, Chemoecology, 14, pp 123–150 (2004)
  2. ^ Natural World Magazine, Spring 2009, The Wildlife Trust, published by Think publishing
  3. ^ Rose Oxide and Iridodial from Aromia Moschata L. (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), G. Vidari, . De Bernardi, M. Pavan and L. Ragozzino, Tedrahedron Letters, 41, pp 4065-4068 (1973)