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Elderberry longhorn
Date Issued: 1999-10-01
Postage Value: 33 cents

Commemorative issue
Insects & spiders
Elderberry longhorn

The valley elderberry longhorn beetle is a medium-sized (about 2 cm long) beetle. The forewings of the male are primarily red with dark green spots, whereas those of the female are dark metallic green with red margins. This beetle is associated with elderberry trees in California's Central Valley during its entire life cycle. The adults emerge in the spring from pupation inside the wood of these trees as they begin to bloom. The exit holes made by the emerging adults are distinctive, small oval openings. Often these holes are the only clue that the beetles occur in an area. The adults eat the elderberry foliage until about June, when they mate. The females lay their eggs in crevices in the bark. Upon hatching, the larvae then begin to tunnel into the tree where they will spend 1-2 years eating the interior wood, their sole source of food.

 

Topic: Insects (55)  

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