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Reddish Vale Country Park

 

Agapanthia villosoviridescens

 

An unusual visitor to the Vale usually a local south eastern species with records northwards from Berkshire to Lincolnshire and west to Wiltshire.

Host plants are mostly Hogweed  and various thistles but other herbaceous plants are sometimes used: Monk's Head, Marsh Ragwort, Hemp Agrimony, Mugwort and nettles.

Eggs are laid into a small cavity bitten into the host stem by the female, usually only two to a plant. On hatching the larvae eats into the pith and makes its way to the base of the stem, sometimes into the rootstock.

The larvae is unusual for a cerambycid, it can move rapidly within the excavated stem cavity using rows of tubercles on its dorsal surface. The pupa is also mobile, able to move up and down a pupal cell hollowed out within the stem and plugged top and bottom with fibres.

Adults emerge from April and are found until October, being active on plant stems and flying readily in hot weather. The life cycle is completed within a year.

Longhorn Beetle

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Longhorn Beetle