Grammoptera ruficornis

Last update: 10 March 2019
SPECIES: Grammoptera ruficornis
FAMILY: CERAMBYCIDAE (Longhorn beetles)




A beetle from the Longhorn family (Cerambycidae), Grammoptera ruficornis [1,2].

Grammoptera ruficornis ♂︎
Grammoptera ruficornis ♂︎
Grammoptera ruficornis ♂︎


This is one of the most common Longhorns in the Netherlands [3]. Every year this beetle is present in the garden in large numbers is one of the permanent inhabitants.


In spring and summer the beetle can be found on the flowers of Firethorn (Pyracantha) feeding on pollen and nectar. On warm days even small swarm may occur hovering the plants.

Like many Loghorns G. ruficornis nests in dead wood, to be exact under the bark of dead twigs, branches and thin stems of broadleaf trees and Zoals zoveel boktorren nestelt deze ook in dood hout, om precies te zijn onder de schors dode twijgen, takken en stammen in Loofbomen en shrubs [1]. The cycle probably takes one year and pupation happens in spring in sapwood [1].
The larvae feed centrally in the branches and later they create pupal cells perpendicular to the branch axis. The pupal cell leads directly under the bark surface and is not secured by any wad of frass as it is common in other Cerambycidae [3].
The beetle is polyphagous on a large set of  host plants and brood trees [1,3] of which a great number are found in or in the direct vicinity of the garden:

Maple (Acer)vicinity
Alder (Alnus)vicinity
Hornbeam (Carpinus)vicinity
Hazel (Corylus)garden
Hawthorn (Crataegus)
Spindle (Euonymus)
Ash (Fraxinus)vicinity
Ivy (Hedera)garden
Walnut (Juglans)
Apple (Malus)garden
Poplar (Populus)vicinity
Oak (Quercus)vicinity
Acacia (Robinia)
Buckthorn (Rhamnus)?
Willow (Salix)
Cytisus (Sarothamnus)garden
Lime (Tilia)vicinity
Elm (Ulmus)


The beetle is 3-7 mm long.

The following characteristics are used for identification [1]:


  1. Antennae segments III + IV are together longer than V
  2. Eyes close to the jaw base, cheecks very short
  3. 3rd segment hindtarsus no longer than segments I and II


  1. 2e antenna segment twice as long than wide
  2. Pronotum and elytra (wing covers) black
  3. Front legs almost entirely yellow-brown or black
  4. Middle and hindlegs often black with orange on the femora (thigh) base
  5. Antennae yellow-brown and black
  6. Antennae with medium length (no longer than elytra)

Female [2]

  • Longer and wider than male
  • Body silhouette (seen from above) parallel towards abdomen apex

Mannetje [2]

  • Shorter and thinner than female
  • Body silhouette (seen from above) weakly coverging towards abdomen apex
Antennae segments III + IV together longer than V
tarsus segment III not wider than segments I and II
Eyes close to mandible base, check very short
Antenne segment II twice as long than wide


1 Bense, Ulrich, "Bockkäfer : illustrierter Schlüssel zu den Cerambyciden und Vesperiden Europas" = Longhorn beetles / Ulrich Bense. - Weikersheim : Margraf, 1995

2 Cerambycidae, Longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae, Coleoptera) of the West Palaearctic region presented by Michal Hoskovec, Petr Jelínek and Martin Rejzek

3 Nederlands Soortenregister