Macrodontia cervicornis

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Macrodontia cervicornis
Cerambycidae - Macrodontia cervicornis.JPG
Macrodontia cervicornis mounted specimen at the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder: Polyphaga
Family: Cerambycidae
Subfamily: Prioninae
Genus: Macrodontia
Species: M. cervicornis
Binomial name
Macrodontia cervicornis
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Male, disarticulated how to Beauchene MHNT

Macrodontia cervicornis (Linnaeus, 1758) is one of the largest beetles, with known specimens exceeding 17 cm in length[citation needed]. Part of this length is due to the enormous mandibles, from which it derives both of the names in its binomen: Macrodontia means "long tooth", and cervicornis means "deer antler" (average male length excluding mandibles: 13 to 14 cm. average female length: 10 to 11 cm.). It is also known as the "Sabertooth Longhorn beetle". Most of this species’ life is spent in the larval stage, which can last up to 10 years, while its adult phase is likely to last no more than a few months during which time dispersal and reproduction take place. The female lays eggs under the bark of dead or dying softwood trees, and once hatched, the larvae burrow into the rotting wood, creating extensive galleries over a metre long and 10 cm wide. The larvae of M. cervicornis are extremely large, reaching up to 21 cm in length and, unusually for beetle larvae, are coloured brown rather than white.


This species is known from the rain forests of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, the Guianas, and Brazil. Additional described species in the genus extend the overall range of the genus from Guatemala to Argentina.


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