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CITRUS LONGHORN BEETLE (Anoplophora chinensis)

The lovely CITRUS LONGHORN BEETLE (Anoplophora chinensis)

(But FYI they squeak and bite) There are over 100 species of longhorn beetles in Hong Kong, and one of the most commonly seen is this one: the citrus longhorn beetle. Longhorn beetles are elongated and cylindrical, some are smooth-bodied, whilst others have spines, dense hair and bumps on the body have antennae that are at least half the length of the body, but often much longer. The larvae are wood borers that tunnel or feed in dead or dying trees, whilst adults feed on bark, twigs, buds or fruit. Some do not eat at all during adulthood, e.g. most members of the subfamily Prioninae. This citrus longhorn beetle (Anoplophora chinensis) is native to Hong Kong and this one landed on our balcony in Sai Kung. Also known as the starry sky beetle, in Japan, China and Korea it is considered a serious pest. Each beetle can lay up to 200 eggs after mating, and each egg is separately deposited in tree bark. After the beetle larvae hatches, it chews into the tree, forming a tunnel that is then used as a place for beetle pupation (the process of growing from larvae to adult, which takes 12–18 months). Infestations by the beetle can kill many different types of hardwood trees, as well as citrus trees. This species have alternating white and black bands on their antennae. SEE THEM Look for the dead mountain tallow trees with extensive larval tunnels, and on the trunks in Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve. Also easier to spot around villages where there are plenty of host plants.

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