Sometimes called feelers, antennae are long appendages that various creatures use to smell, taste, and even feel sounds around them. While the size of antennae can vary, there are some beetles with long antennae that are bigger than their entire bodies!
Long antennae are a defining trait of beetles in the longhorn family, but there are other types of beetles with extended antennae as well. Keep reading to learn about the beetle species with the longest and most impressive antennae.
12 Beetles with long antennae
Beetles are one of the most diverse groups of insects on the planet, with around 400,000 species known to science. In the following list of beetles with long antennae, we’ll explore some of the reasons why beetles have these characteristics, and take a closer look at some of the most interesting examples of species.
Whether they’re used for communication, navigation, or other purposes, the long antennae of beetles are a fascinating aspect of their biology and behavior.
1. Citrus Long-Horned Beetle
Both male and female citrus beetles are known for having very long antennae! Females have antenna that are 1.2 times as long as their body, while the antenna on males can be more than twice the length of their body. Although these beetle are fascinating to look at, they’re a major pest that can kill many types of trees.
2. Sawyer Beetles
If you’ve ever spotted a dark-colored beetle with extremely long antenna, there’s a good chance that it was a sawyer beetle! The sawyer beetle is a type of long-horned beetle that’s known for boring into wood. Some common types of sawyer beetles include the white-spotted sawyer beetle and the northeastern pine beetle.
3. Huhu Beetles
The largest beetle in New Zealand, the huhu beetle has long antenna that are curled at the ends. In addition to its massive antenna, the huhu beetle has strong jaws that can inflict very painful bites. When these beetles move, it’s common to see their antennae waving back and forth.
4. Red Milkweed Beetles
While this beetle is known for their bright red color, its antenna is almost completely black. A red milkweed’s beetle antenna can be as much as half the length of its entire body! The beetle’s antenna actually extends from its eye and split the eye into two different parts.
5. Feather-Horned Beetles
There are many beetle species with notable antennae, but none of them look anything like the feather-horned beetle! Its long, hairy antenna looks a little like a pair of fans! While the antenna is more prominent on male beetles, the antenna on females is still very large. Typically, these antennae are made up of around 20 different segments.
6. Asian Long-Horned Beetles
In spite of its name, the Asian long-horned beetle is known for its antenna, not its horns. Its long black antenna can grow to be as long as 4 inches and are covered in white rings. Even though this beetle is native to Asia, it can also be found in Europe and North America, where it’s considered to be an invasive species.
7. Titan Beetles
True to its name, the titan beetle is a massive insect, with some specimens measured at more than 6 inches long! It’s one of the largest species of beetle in the world, even when you don’t take its long antenna into account. While a titan beetle’s jaws are short compared to the rest of its body, it can still inflict bites that are strong enough to break human skin.
8. Palo Verde Beetles
This root-boring beetle is one of the largest beetles found in North America. It can grow to be as long as 3.5 inches and can even fly!
Thanks to its large size and long antenna, these beetles are easy to spot. While beetle larvae feed on the roots of trees, adult beetles don’t eat at all and live off energy reserves.
9. Banded Hickory Borers
These beetles have thin bodies and long antenna that can grow to be larger than the entire length of their bodies. This type of beetle has three subspecies, and every one of them can do significant damage to the trees that they feed on. If you pick up a banded hickory borer, it may start to squeak!
10. Flea Beetles
True to its name, the flea beetle is tiny, but it does have long antenna, especially when you consider its small size. Its antennae are made up of 11 segments and resemble thread. These beetles are able to walk and fly, but they can also leap through the air when they’re disturbed.
11. Bloody-Nosed Beetles
This unusual beetle is able to release a foul, blood-like substance from its body when it’s under threat, scaring away potential predators. Not only does it have long antennae, but its antennae are also thick and sturdy, with segments that look like tiny beads. Even though this beetle has wings, it’s flightless and walks around on its six long legs.
12. Queensland Longhorn Beetles
The long antennae on this beetle can grow to be more than twice the size of its body. True to its name, the beetle can be found throughout Queensland and New South Wales, but it’s also a major pest in Hawaii. Not only do adult beetles eat the bark of trees, but they lay eggs inside trees, allowing larvae to do damage from the inside out.