Giant Fijian long-horned beetle

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Giant Fijian long-horned beetle
MA I394518 TePapa Xixuthrus-heros-Gräffe full.jpg
Female
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Cerambycidae
Genus: Xixuthrus
Species:
X. heros
Binomial name
Xixuthrus heros
(Gräffe, 1868)
Synonyms
  • Macrotoma heros

The giant Fijian long-horned beetle (Xixuthrus heros)[1] is native to the island of Viti Levu in Fiji, and is one of the largest living insect species, with specimens around 15 cm long, excluding legs, antennae, or jaws. It is closely related to the Taveuni beetle, which is only marginally smaller. These beetles have powerful jaws, and should be handled with care when alive—when threatened, they produce a loud and fearsome hissing noise by squeezing air out from under their elytra. Various websites and other resources incorrectly indicate that this species is extinct; it is not, though the forest habitat on its home island is somewhat limited, so the beetle is potentially quite vulnerable.

male

In fact, X. heros is considered common in the highlands of Viti Levu where the forest is intact; natives in remote villages continue to consume the larvae. Adults commonly come to lights near the nursing college near Suva. A scientific study in 2001/2002 determined that there are, in fact, two distinct species which had been identified as heros, one of them true heros, the other being X. ganglbaueri.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Note: Clarification of the Authorship of Xixuthrus heros (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)" (PDF). www.cerambycoidea.com. 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Yanega, Douglas; Olson, David; Shute, Sharon & Ziro, Komiya (2004). "The Xixuthrus species of Fiji (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae: Prioninae)". Zootaxa. 777 (1): 1–10. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.777.1.1.

External links[edit]