Sunday, May 20, 2012

Molorchus longicollis

The Merced River below Yosemite National Park runs through a beautiful yet spare landscape. It is dry most of the year and most species of plants bloom in the spring. Two years ago this last March, we camped at McCabe Flat Campground and enjoyed the beautiful show of flowers along the river and the pleasant weather.

I aslo found a few longhorn beetles (Molorchus longicollis) on buckbrush. Some were on the flowers covered in pollen and others were mating on nearby branches. They are interesting beetles with pale abbreviated wing covers and long antennae.

The species is one of the smallest longhorn beetles in the world. It is hardly even a centimeter long (about the size of your freshly clipped baby fingernail). Compared to another longhorn beetle (the largest beetle in the world) that is as long as your hand with fingers extended, you can get the idea of the size difference.  In the habitat shot you can barely see the Merced River through the oaks.

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