Which longhorn are you?

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QTHEO MOSTERT from Good­wood writes: I pho­tographed this bee­tle on the Pieke­nier­skloof Pass near Citrus­dal in a stand of cul­ti­vated wild fig trees. The trees were clearly their hosts be­cause the wood was full of holes. I of­ten travel that way and have never seen these bee­tles be­fore. Are they indige­nous or did they ar­rive with the fig trees?

AEn­to­mol­o­gist DUN­CAN MACFADYEN says: This is a Cape Pon­doPondo longhorn bee­tle. It’s an indige­nous species that be­longs to the fam­ily Cer­am­by­ci­dae. It’s a large species: Adults can reach a length of 37 mm. The bee­tles lay their eggs in slits in bark, us­ing their strong mandibles to cut through de­cay­ing wood. The lar­vae bore into rooi­bos tea bushes, and are also ex­pected to im­pact black wat­tle and cas­sia trees.

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