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Plumb Beetle Tetrops praeustus

Many Longhorn Beetles are quite big and thus easily noticed. There are also quite a few very small species though. Take this beautiful Plumb Beetle. It is named after its host plant, for the larvae are found in twigs of plumb trees. It likes other trees and shrubs as well, including roses. This animal is probably often overlooked, for it reaches a length of 3 to 6 mm only. Usually it takes the larvae 1 year to develop into an adult beetle, but sometimes they need two years to complete the cycle. The entire animal is strikingly hairy. The thorax shield and the tips of the elytra are kind of black, but under the right light circumstances they may turn into a wonderful, metallic blue. This species is very common all over Europe and has even reached Northern America. The scientific name Tetrops praeusta is still often used for this species, but it is wrong, for Tetrops apparently is a male word.