Scientists Discover First Long-Horned Beetle Species That Gives Birth to Live Young

Posted on May 11, 2016

Borneostyrax cristatus

Scientists have discovered the first species of long-horned beetle that gives birth to live young. The wingless beetle was found in the mountains of northern Borneo by Czech researchers from Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic. A female specimen of the new species is pictured above.

Insects are generally oviparous. This means the female lay eggs and embryonic development occurs outside the female's body. Some ovoviviparous species retain their eggs in their genital tracts until the larvae are ready to hatch. This mode of reproduction is rare in insects and very rare in beetles. The larvae develop inside the abdomen of the females in the newly discovered beetles as pictured below.

Borneostyrax cristatus larvae

The new beetle species is named Borneostyrax cristatus. They are part of the Cerambycidae family, which is one of the largest known beetle groups containing about 35,000 species.

Radim Gabris, the main author of the study, says in a statement, "During a dissection of female genitalia in specimens belonging to the one of the newly described genera, named Borneostyrax, we found out that two females contained large larvae inside their bodies. This phenomenon have been known in a few lineages of the related leaf beetles, but this is the first case for the long-horned beetles."

A research paper on the study was published here in the journal, ZooKeys.

Images: Radim Gabris

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