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Iridescence Longhorn Beetle

Psalidognathus friendi


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.


Psalidognathus friendi is found in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. The majority of the Prioninae beetles are nocturnal and are attracted to light. This one was found under a light in the Amazon rainforest of SE Ecuador. 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


I almost couldn't believe my eyes when I found this beetle. Not only was it huge, but the colors were unbelievable. Digging up information about it was a long process. There is an interesting video at the following link:

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Tukup a day ago

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

Tukup 5 days 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 5 days ago

I would faint in excitement to find one of these!

Michael Strydom
Michael Strydom 5 days ago

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

Tukup 6 days 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 6 days 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 6 days ago

Impressive ! That is a great shot of the head.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 6 days ago

Industrial-strength nippers. Awesome spotting, Tukup.

SukanyaDatta 6 days ago

:) I would have too!!!

Tukup 6 days ago

Thanks Sukanya. Normally I don't pay attention to the possibility of being bitten by "bugs" but this was different. I handled it "very" carefully.

SukanyaDatta 6 days ago

My God, Tukup. The first photo is Fantastic .looks as large as the Mars Rover. I went Ouch...ouch..ouch when I saw the video.

Morona Santiago, Ecuador

Lat: -2.15, Long: -77.69

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

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