Where's the Elderberry Longhorn Beetle?
|Goal||Help Drexel Univ learn how this beetle's populations change.|
|Task||Search for this beetle and upload your pictures!|
|Where||Global, anywhere on the planet|
Hi, my name is Dr. Dan Duran and I'm an evolutionary biologist and entomologist at Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA) and I need your help finding "Desmond," an Elderberry Longhorn Beetle, formally known as *Desmocerus palliatus!*
This *beautiful* beetle species used to live throughout a large part of eastern North America but in recent decades it appears as if it has declined in numbers. We need your help to figure out if and why this might be true and how we can help them move back into areas they once lived.
The Elderberry Longhorn Beetle is easy to spot with its bold patterns of blue and gold and long antennae. It's so attractive, in fact, that it was chosen for a USPS stamp design in 1999! I can't promise you'll find one, but if you keep an eye out, you might have a chance at seeing one of these impressive creatures. They come out at different times in different places, but June is often a good time to see them.
|How to Join||
**Where might you find Desmond?**
Elderberry (*Sambucus*) is typically shrub-sized, but it may get as large as a small tree. It has white flowers arranged in loose clumps or “sprays” and leaves that form clusters of 5-7 smaller leaflets. Although there are a few other common plants with similar white flowers, such as Queen Anne’s Lace (*Daucus carota*), other such plants will not have similar leaves and be shrub sized. The pictures above will help you to recognize an elderberry plant (click on the photos for more detail).
Our native elderberry species are most commonly found in moist areas like river edges, wetlands, or retention ponds. In recent years there has been a renewed interest in using native plants in gardens, so elderberry has become more common in back yards.
If enough people plant elderberries it might just provide enough habitat for these beetles to sustain their populations and move back into areas where they once lived!
**How will you recognize an Elderberry Longhorn Beetle?**
**When might you spot Desmond or his relatives?**
**What do you do if you see an Elderberry Longhorn Beetle?**
camera or camera-phone
|Ideal Age Group||Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families|
|Spend the Time||outdoors|
|Type of Activity||On a walk, run, On a hike, At home|
|Tags||desmocerus palliatus, elderberry beetle, elderberry borer, elderberry longhorn|
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