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Iridescent Longhorn Beetle

Psalidognathus superbus


I found no common name other than the familiar name: “Longhorn Beetle.” This remarkably colored beetle is in the Prioninae, a subfamily of Cerambycidae (Long-horned beetles). True to its name, its antennae are longer than its body, This beetle was 65 mm long which is the maximum size they reach. Its defense isn’t limited to the impressive 2 cm long mandibles, the head, prothorax and leading tip of the elytra are armed with very sharp spines. The surface of its entire body appears to have an iridescent metallic purple textured appearance.


This beetle was found under a light in the Amazon rainforest of SE Ecuador (700 masl).


I almost couldn't believe my eyes when I found this beetle. Not only was it huge, but the colors were unbelievable. Little could be found of its habits or habitat, but the majority of the Prioninae whose biology is known are borers whose larvae feed on rotting wood or roots. There is an interesting video at the following link:

1 Species ID Suggestions

Iridescent Longhorn Beetle
Psalidognathus superbus Flickr

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27 Comments (1–25)

Tukup 8 months ago

Thanks Saturniidae. I think you're right. I have made the corrections.

Saturniidae27 9 months ago

Truly amazing Tukup. To me Psalidognathus superbus looks a little more identical, and range also seems to cover, quite well :-)

Tukup 10 months ago

Thanks Rhynoctapu. It was a gem.

Rhynoctapus 10 months ago

Woah, that's an impressive beetle, nice spot!

Tukup a year ago

Thanks Ornithoptera. One of the highlights of our time here. It was impressive.

Ornithoptera80 a year ago

What a huge and beautiful long horn beetle, Tukup.

Tukup 2 years ago

Wow Leuba. I see I completely missed replying to you. So sorry. I do appreciate your comments. Thanks.

Tukup 2 years ago

Thanks Neil. It is a beauty.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 2 years ago

Far out! Industrial strength beetle. Awesome spotting, Tukup.

Tukup 2 years ago

Thanks Mark. Definitely a "star" in my sightings.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 2 years ago


Tukup 2 years ago

Thanks Dan. Definitely a highlight for me. If you didn't watch the video in the notes, be sure not to miss it.

dandoucette 2 years ago

Woah impressive! Great spotting!

Tukup 2 years ago

Thanks Mauron. I think you summed it up quite nicely :-)

Mauron 2 years ago


Tukup 2 years ago

Thanks Neil. Don't know how I missed you before. I appreciate your comments.

Tukup 2 years ago

Thanks Michael and Lauren. I have no idea how rare they actually are, but this is the only one I've seen in 33+ years here. It was definitely one of the highlights of my spottings.

LaurenZarate 2 years ago

I would faint in excitement to find one of these!

Michael Strydom
Michael Strydom 2 years ago

Wow, never seen this before!! Amazing shot in the sun ith that awsome sparkle to the carpace!!

Tukup 2 years ago

Thanks Antonio. The close up came out even better than I'd hoped. An amazing creature.

Great find Tukup,beautiful,congrats and thanks for sharing

Tukup 2 years ago

Hi Adrian. I got a notice regarding your comment, but don't see it here. So if you see this, thanks. I appreciate your interest in a beautiful "terrible" beetle :-)

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 2 years ago

Impressive ! That is a great shot of the head.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 2 years ago

Industrial-strength nippers. Awesome spotting, Tukup.

SukanyaDatta 2 years ago

:) I would have too!!!

Spotted by

Morona-Santiago, Ecuador

Spotted on Apr 21, 2015
Submitted on Mar 14, 2019

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