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722 illustration

Large poplar longhorn beetle

Saperda carcharias

The large poplar longhorn beetle is dark grey and orange, and its body is covered with thick, felt-like hairs. Adults measure between 20 and 30 millimetres in length. The beetles have relatively thick antennae comprising 11 sections. Its upper wings are elongated, the edges extending beyond the wing covers at the base. The larvae are long and cylindrical, yellowish white in colour, and covered with hairs.

Poplar longhorn beetles typically inhabit deciduous and mixed forests, but prefer poplar species for laying their eggs. They can be found throughout Europe, Siberia and the Caucasus.

The beetles damage poplars, aspens and willows. They spend two to four years in the trees as larvae, before emerging as adults in July and August. During emergence, wood fibres are ejected through a hole in the bark where the eggs were laid. These emergence holes weaken the tree, making it more susceptible to disease and wind damage.

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