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Arhopalus ferus01.jpg
Arhopalus ferus (Mulsant, 1839) ♀
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder: Polyphaga
Superfamily: Chrysomeloidea
Family: Cerambycidae
Subfamily: Spondylidinae
Audinet-Serville, 1832 [1]

see text

Spondylidinae are a small subfamily of Cerambycidae including slightly over 100 species, primarily in the coniferous forests of the Boreal hemisphere. A few species occur in coniferous forests in tropical and subtropical areas (Mexico, Cuba), while very few genera (e.g., Zamium) are present in Austral Africa and Madagascar (e.g., Masatopus).



Spondylidinae are insects characterised by cerambycine aspect, generally with a more or less flattened, dark body, oblique head and scarcely elongated antennae. Their sexual dimorphism is scarcely evident, that i,s males and females are scarcely distinguishable. Unlike Cerambycinae, their stridulitrum is divided.


The larvae are completely different from those of Cerambycinae and similar to those of Lepturinae in several respects, being characterised by a rounded head and large labrum. They also typically possess two closely spaced small spines on the last abdominal segment.



Spondylidinae are nearly all nocturnal or crepuscular. Only the genus Tetropium, characterised by finely faceted eyes, has diurnal activity. The adults live on the host plants, taking refuge under barks or trunks during inactive periods.


Except for some Saphanini (Saphanus, Drymochares) and Anisarthrini, the larvae of most of species attack conifers.



Spondylidinae have a complicated systematic history, and details of the relationships are still uncertain. In 1897 Xambeu[2] united the genera Spondylis, Asemum, Chriocephalus (now Arhopalus) and Tetropium in Spondyliens, on the basis of the larval morphology. Nevertheless, this classification was rejected by contemporaneous authors since Spondylis was believed to be related to Prioninae and Parandra.[3] At that time most spondylidine genera were placed within the subfamily Aseminae. A later study of the wing morphology[4] confirmed Xambeu's grouping, but by the end of the 20th Century (and in some contemporaneous faunas) Spondylidini were treated as a separate subfamily. Only after 1987,[5] after further studies on the larval morphology, was it recognized that spondylidines and asemines were indeed part of the same group, rather than separate lineages. Spondylidini - whose larvae are indistinguishable from that of all other traditional Aseminae - appear to be simply highly derived Asemini, with adult morphology convergent with lucaniform Prioninae and the Vesperidae of the Amazonian genus Migdolus.

Current systematics[edit]

Spondylidinae (this name has priority over Aseminae) includes five tribes.[6]


  1. ^ "Spondylidinae". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. 
  2. ^ Xambeu F., 1897-1902. Moeurs et métamorphoses des insectes, 8e Mémoire, Longicornes . L'echange (pagination spéciale) 151-209: 220 pp. + 1 Tab.
  3. ^ Lameere A., 1913. Cerambycidae: Prioninae. Coleopterorum Catalogus 52, S. Schenkling, Berlin, 108 pp.
  4. ^ Saalas U., 1936. Über das Flügelgeäder und die phylogenetische Entwicklung der Cerambyciden. Annales Zoologici Societatis Zoologicae-Botanicae Fennicae Vanamo 4 (1): 1-193.
  5. ^ Švácha P. & Danilevsky M. L., 1987. Cerambycoid larvae of Europe and Soviet Union (Coleoptera Cerambycoidea). Part Acta Universitatis Carolinae, Biologica 30: 1-176.
  6. ^ Zicha O. BioLib. Retrieved on 24 June 2015.

External links[edit]