The Great Capricorn Beetle (Cerambyx cerdo) is an insect in the longhorn family of beetles.
The Great Capricorn Beetle has an elongated black body with long, curved antennae. The antennae look like the horns of a goat (Capra ibex), which is why it is called Capricorn. It has wing cases called elytra. The elytra are reddish-brown at the tips.
It measures about 4-5 centimetres (2 inches) in length. Males have antennae that are longer than its body. Females have antennae as long as its wing cases.
The Great Capricorn Beetle is widespread and common in the Caucasus region, in countries such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, as well as parts of Europe and the Middle East, in countries such as Algeria, Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungry, Iran, Morocco, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
The female Great Capricorn Beetle lays eggs which hatch into larvae. The larvae (a grub) spends most of its three years inside an oak tree. It is blind and naked. The grub burrows into the wood. After 3 years, the larvae crawl out of the burrow for a short distance and undergo metamorphosis to change into a beetle by making a chalky casing. The adult beetle emerges and crawls out of the casing.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM