Elderberry Long-horned Beetle

By William T. Hathaway

Elderberry Long-horned Beetle (Desmocerus palliatus)

The Elderberry Long-horned Beetle is also known as the elderberry borer, since its larvae make tunnels within the stem of elderberry plants. As far as I am aware, this beetle isn't common in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

When the beetle was found, a bit of excitement was shared amongst our collecting crew, because this beetle was quite large (length 17-24mm) and unusually colorful. The picture of my pinned specimen bears very little of the resplendent coloring seen on a fresh specimen when captured. Therefore, it is always an advantage when photographing live insects in situ; dead dragonflies, butterflies, and most other dead insects are vulnerable to fading colors within a short period of time. When working with pinned insects, satisfaction in photography comes with the idea that specimens can be recognized and often identified.