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Cerambycidae unidentified larvae, questions and discussion.


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Hello all,


I wanted to see if any of you knows of any respectable sources for pictures of the larvae of Cerambycids in the United States, mainly the Cerambycidae of California.


Some background info.

Not long ago I went hiking and collecting for wood. Some of the wood pieces contained medium-large size Cerambycidae larvae which I decided to collect and bring home for rearing. It has been some months now, and the larvae has grown, now reaching close to 2" in extended length (full length of larvae as it extends itself in order to bury into the wood), and nearly 1/2" in width. I have found some rather good information regarding Cerambycidae in California (a bit over 300 species known in the state), some which included species native to the local mountain ranges, but I am yet to encounter any info which shows larval characters or descriptions.

The larvae was found in fallen oak, that is unfortunately all the info I have as to the host plant since I did not think to further identify it upon collection.

The larvae has eight spiracles on either side, plus the large sclerotized patch(?) present in most beetle larvae, six small (nearly inexistent) legs which do not appear to be used in locomotion and are two (perhaps three) segmented and slightly covered in setae that seems to cover the entire length of the leg. The antennae appear to have three segments. Urogomphi were not found on the larvae.




Some head capsule pictures















Leg close up



I guess we'll see what species this is when the larvae pupates and the beetle ecloses, but I would really appreciate any help in the meantime.

Also, my description of the larvae is an amateur attempt at best, non-scientific and should not be taken word by word as I do not have any academic experience in doing so.



Thank you.

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I've seen larvae of various longhorns and there is little variation among the larger species. Your larva looks as much like a cactus longhorn as a Prionus. At that size it might be full-grown or immature and could be any of dozens of species. If I put a list of 'possible' genera here I'd probably miss the right one. Your only shot of getting an ID would be a local extension office since they'd be familiar with your most common local species but even then it would be a guess.

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Prionus sp. seemed a bit large in comparison. I have already contacted the author of the revision on the Cerambycidae genera of California to see if I could get some better clues. The larvae of longhorns tends to be creamy in color, but this one struck me as being a bit more yellow than creamy; I was hoping it was nearing pupation. I was also secretly hoping it was a larvae of Rosalia funebris.

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Well they have to be small at some point, right? Yours has grown a lot you say, right? And it's only January. It's got some growing left. If it's 2 1/2 inches to 3 inches in the end it is most likely a type of prionid (not necessarily of the genus Prionus though).

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