A black-striped longhorn beetle in the garden

Yesterday I found this small (10mm) longhorn beetle feeding on a geranium flower in the garden.

Stenurella melanura 1
It has all black legs and a characteristic black stripe down the middle where the two wing cases join.

Stenurella melanura 2
It is called the black-striped longhorn beetle Stenurella melanura

Stenurella melanura 3
The larvae of this beetle can eat a wide range of dead wood and live inside small branches (for around 2 years) which are in contact with the ground. The adults then emerge between May and September. They are widespread in woods in southern England but are very local further north.

Stenurella melanura 4

The beetle is about to fly off – it is beginning to spread its wing cases (elytra) revealing the transparent wings below. Note also the trips of each wing case are ‘truncated’ i.e. cut at an angle and are not rounded. This along with the all black legs helps to separate this species from the similar tobacco-coloured longhorn beetle Alosterna tabacicolor.

I will be submitting this record to the Longhorn Beetle Recording Scheme later.

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