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Prehistoric bug

Well, if the Ghost Mantis was not unusual enough for you – check out this prehistoric looking bug!! I found it on the fig tree – two of them!!! One must be a female (the bigger one). I am busy looking on the internet ….. does anyone have a clue??

[one_half]This one must be the female[/one_half]

[one_half_last]And this one the male[/one_half_last]


This is the female before she let go of the branch and tumbled to the ground. I would imagine this is a safety mechanism. She them scurried away…. the first picture of her. ButΒ I managed to get the male to pose for most of the photos ……

[one_half]What an unusual beetle – quite scary looking[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Another angle from the side[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Well camouflaged –Β strong armour plates[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Looks like he has claimed this fig[/one_half_last]

Could it be a cricket? No, no springy legs…… Well, anyone’s guess is as good as mine.

Looks like I need some help on this one!

Let’s see what tomorrow brings in my BUG-A-BOO ZOO …

By Barbara

Country living is the best! Being a true spirit of the earth, my garden is all about vegetables and fruit trees and herbs and chickens roaming free. I was keen to really start gardening when we moved to Philadelphia in 2005, but not your typical suburban-type garden – sterile and bug-free! I wanted an edible garden.

16 replies on “Prehistoric bug”

Hi Denni – Thank you so much!! It was found in my fig tree so I hope that it is not boring in it -!!!! I will check out the link you sent!
Many thanks for this!!

I found one of these in my bath recently. Well it certainly looked very similar to this from what I remember. It is definitely a longhorn, a way to make sure if you’re not too squeamish, is to touch it on it’s back and it will give out a high pitched, very audible squeak! I was slightly perturbed at the thought of relocating it outside by hand especially after noticing what large mandibles it had. Where was the one in the article photographed? I’m in the Little Karoo.

Hi Alex – a high-pitched squeak?? No, this would put me off! πŸ™‚

I saw the website that Denni offered and YES – it is the Fig Tree Borer Longhorn Beetle – Phryneta Spinator.

I am in Philadelphia (hamlet 38km out of Cape Town on N7)

Haahaa!! So right!! Scared me too!! I was all freaked out when I saw it literally an arms distance from my face!! eeeww!! But on close inspection, quite gentle it was (but I was behind the camera lens).
A bug zoo is right!! πŸ™‚ gonna have to do a special post just on that!

Barbara, that is one ugly and awesome bug! Fantastic photos too! I’m going to guess it’s a beetle of some sort — that let go and fall strategy is exactly what the Japanese beetles do in my yard…

Okay, I dug around a little and I’d say it’s a Longicorn beetle of some sort (aka Longhorn beetle).

Perhaps you can find the exact species on some other site? (I didn’t see it here, but I wouldn’t expect you to have the same species as Australia)

Thanks to Alan, I can jump from just a beetle, to longhorn beetle. Looks like a Dumpy Longhorn, Tetradia lophoptera. For which my book shows ‘Arid savanna’ nowhere near the Western Cape. Adults eat pollen and nectar.

Related to the metallic longhorn. Slender beetle in that glorious shimmering malachite blue-green. I’m sure you’ve posted us one of those?

I will check this one out too! THanks for this info!!
You have all been so very helpful!
I don’t know what I’m feeding them, but these weird and wonderful bugs keep me on my toes!

Hi Alan – yup!It is a Longicorn Beetle – Denni was spot on! It is the Fig Tree borer Longhorn Beetle – phryneta Spinator. Comes from the Coleoptera: Cerambycidae family of beetles. Apparently the larvae bore into the tree!! Not good! Going to have to check this out!

Thanks for your great effort on this!! Much appreciated!!

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