The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Large Green Longhorn beetle

Afrikaans name:

Large Green Longhorn

Photo © Steven Herbert

Philematium natalense

The Large Green Longhorn beetle is predominantly metallic green with black antennae. Its legs are black with orange-red bases. Its “feet” are black with white sides and a tiny bit of orange near the end. This insect grows to a length of around 25 mm excluding those long “horns.”

Longhorn beetles are often found in forests or dense bush where they may be seen on flowers. In South Africa it occurs in the eastern and north-eastern regions of the country.

There are many insects around the world which also have this metallic green colour and did you know that the colour does not come from colour pigment but rather microscopic layers that reflect certain wavelengths of the light. There are a couple of proposed explanations as to why these insects get their colouring in this particularly way, but one thing is for sure, they are particularly attractive to us humans.

References and further reading

Field Guide to Insects of South Africa - Author: Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths and Alan Weaving - Published: 0 - Page: 246

Why do some insects look metallic? - BBC Science Focus Magazine


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