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Brief Summary

    Longhorn beetle: Brief Summary
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    The longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae; also known as long-horned or longhorn beetles or longicorns) are a cosmopolitan family of beetles, typically characterized by extremely long antennae, which are often as long as or longer than the beetle's body. In various members of the family, however, the antennae are quite short (e.g., Neandra brunnea) and such species can be difficult to distinguish from related beetle families such as the Chrysomelidae. The family is large, with over 26,000 species described, slightly more than half from the Eastern Hemisphere. Several are serious pests. The larvae, called roundheaded borers, bore into wood, where they can cause extensive damage to either living trees or untreated lumber (or, occasionally, to wood in buildings; the old-house borer, Hylotrupes bajulus, is a particular problem indoors). A number of species mimic ants, bees, and wasps, though a majority of species are cryptically colored. The rare titan beetle (Titanus giganteus) from northeastern South America is often considered the largest (though not the heaviest, and not the longest including legs) insect, with a maximum known body length of just over 16.7 cm (6.6 in). The scientific name of this beetle family goes back to a figure from Greek mythology: after an argument with nymphs, the shepherd Cerambus was transformed into a large beetle with horns.

Comprehensive Description