Line Line
Agapanthia villosoviridescens

There are many members in the Longhorn Beetle family: some 15,000 species all over the world. In Western Europa alone some 100 species have been spotted. Longhorn Beetles usually do have very long horns, even though there are exceptions, of course. Many are also nicely coloured and they all give a slender impression. A few Longhorn species are very dangerous. Their larvae eat dead wood and do live inside pieces of wood in buildings. And because you can't see them (they do not make little holes like the woodworm does) and because they can live as larvae for some 5 to 7 years, it may be too late once you spot the adults. Most species however are not dangerous, but live in stems of plants or reet. Agapanthia villosoviridescens for instance spends its larval stage in stems of thistles.

Agapanthia villosoviridescens is an attractive species measuring 12 to 15 mm. Identification is easy: long antennae showing grey rings, a black body, covered in ochrous or greyish hairs. A line of hairs runs over the neckshield, ending near a small plume of hairs at the beginning of the back shields. Females bite a little wound in the stem of the host plant and deposite one egg in it. The larva eats its way to the center of the stem and starts feeding, usually going downwards. It may even eat the roots of the plant. Then it makes a chamber and pupates inside. Host plants include thistles, Hogweed and Monk's Head. Adults appear from April to the end of August, and may be spotted to the end of October. A rather common species in the South of England. Not reported from Wales, Scotland and Ireland. A common species over most of Western Europe.