This little beauty is one of the iconic beetles of my part of the US:
Ah, Moneilema gigas. What a stunning creature. This longhorn beetle eats cactus, prickly pear and cholla mostly, hence its name. It’s also got one heck of a powerful jaw. And, I have witnessed (though not experienced) this myself: if one of these gets hold of a finger with that strong little mouth, you’re just going to have to take it for a while. They really don’t like to let go!
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6 thoughts on “Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday: Cactus Longhorn”
Glad you think so! I think they’re spectacularly beautiful myself. They’re a really glossy black, like patent leather, and have an excellent body shape.
Looks like a beetle/grasshopper hybrid. A beethopper! (Because grassle would just be silly.) The ancient ancestor from which both beetles and grasshoppers evolved! I mean, sure, science doesn’t consider those groups closely related, but look at that head!
Ha ha! Grassle! I love that term. Maybe I’ll start calling these grassles just to confuse people. :) They do look much more bettley from the front though.
Gorgeous! Your photos are so amazing. I agree: that body type is a little reminiscent of a grasshopper.
Aw, thanks! I’m so glad you like them.