Leptura quadrifasciata L.
(= Strangalia quadrifasciata (L.))
(a longhorn beetle)
Class: Pterygota – insects
Order: Coleoptera – beetles
British distribution: Widespread.
World distribution: Europe, extending at least to Russia. No further information at the time of writing.
Leptura quadrifasciata, Carmarthenshire, July 2003.
Leptura quadrifasciata, better known as Strangalia quadrifasciata, is a 'longhorn beetle' (i.e. a member of the family Cerambycidae). It has the long antennae characteristic of the family and, like most longhorns, is associated with old woodland, where its larvae are wood-borers in old trunks and stumps and logs. L. quadrifasciata is said to be associated particularly with oak (Quercus) and alder (Alnus) (Lonsdale, 1991), though willows (Salix) are evidently also much used in central Europe. Nutrition of longhorn beetles appears to be from the wood itself, unlike a number of wood-boring beetles that feed primarily on the associated fungi. Adult L. quadrifasciata feeds on pollen and it is one of the species that can be seen on flowers such as various umbellifers.
Longhorn beetles are variable in their patterning and identification can be difficult. L. quadrifasciata is, however, a distinctive species, with the four yellow bands running across its elytra, though the size of these bands can vary. Most readily confused with it is its more common relative, Rutpela maculata, in which the yellow markings usually join up to form larger areas of yellow, and which also has yellow on the legs. A good selection of longhorn beetles is illustrated in Harde (1984). Nomenclature of this group has recently been revised – see Rejzek (2008).
References • Harde, K.W. (1984). A field guide in colour to beetles, Octopus Books, London. • Lonsdale, D. (1991). Cerambycidae (longhorn beetles) and Scolytidae (bark and ambrosia beetles), in Cooter, J., et al (eds), A coleopterists handbook, ed. 3, Amateur Entomologists' Society, Feltham, pp. 145-155. • Rejzek, M., (2008). Family Cerambycidae, in Duff, A.G. (ed.), Checklist of beetles of the British Isles, 2008 edition, http://www.coleopterist.org.uk/checklist2008%20A5.pdf.
An essential online resource for identification of northern, boreal longhorns is the:
Atlas of longicorn beetles (Cerambycidae) of Russia and adjacent areas,
which is part of the Zoological Institute, RAS, St. Petersburg site at:
A massive compilation of information and superb photographs. Click the flag to go to the Russian version if a page in English fails to load.
© A.J. Silverside
Page first hosted (as Strangalia quadrifasciata) at www-biol.paisley.ac.uk/bioref/, September 2003; transferred to lastdragon.org with nomenclatural updates, October 2010
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