Cactus longhorn beetle

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Cactus longhorn beetle
Moneilema gigas01.jpg
Moneilema gigas at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Cerambycidae
Subfamily: Lamiinae
Genus: Moneilema
Say, 1824

Cactus longhorn beetles (the genus Moneilema) are large, flightless, black beetles found in North American deserts of the western United States and northern Mexico. M. gigas is native to the Sonoran desert at elevations below 4900 feet (1500m).[1] The front wings of these beetles are fused forming a single, hardened shell, from which this group derives its Latin name. The genus includes twenty species.[2]

Longhorn cactus beetles feed on chollas and prickly pear cacti, and are known to feed on saguaro seedlings. Larvae bore into cactus roots and stems, sometimes killing more susceptible individuals. Adults also feed on the surface of cacti.[3]

Most Moneilema species are active during mid or late summer - the adults typically emerging during the summer monsoon season. Some Moneilema species in central and southern Mexico are reported to be active all year.

Like many flightless beetles, these beetles have limited wing musculature with a rounded abdomen and thorax, similar in appearance to a number of other flightless desert beetles. Cactus longhorn beetles resemble and mimic the behavior of noxious stink beetles in the genus Eleodes.[4]

Species[edit]

The genus includes 20 species:[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Historical Biogeography of Longhorn Cactus Beetles" (PDF). Forest Service Proceedings. USDA. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  2. ^ a b "Moneilemini". Cerambycidae of the New World. Larry Bezark. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  3. ^ "Cactus Longhorn Beetle". Museum of Learning. Discovery Media. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 
  4. ^ "Beetles". Invertebrates. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Retrieved 2010-11-24. 

External links[edit]