Tethlimmena aliena

Lycid-mimic Longhorned Beetle

Tethlimmena aliena, Lycid-mimic Cerambycid, Lonhorn Beetle

Family: Cerambycidae

Subfamily: Cerambycinae

Tribe: Eroschemini

Length: beetle in photograph 8.2 mm


The well-traveled entomologist Henry Walter Bates collected this species in Chontales department in Nicaragua, and described it in an 1872 publication. In the years since, the species has been collected from Guatemala to Panama.

At first glance this beetle appears to be a Net-winged Beetle (Lycidae), with the typical coloration of that family, the elytra wider at the rear, and the saw-toothed antennae.  A genuine Lycid, however, would have the head partly or completely covered by the pronotum, and would have the net-like pattern referred to in the family's common name.  Presumably this longhorn beetle benefits from mimicking a noxious Lycid.

Photo location: Matagalpa province, Nicaragua

Determined by Dr. Miguel Monné, Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro.

American Insects site