About animals

Alpine barbel


Alpine barbel is an insect that is distinguished not only by its large size, but also by its amazing beauty. The length of an adult in length is from 1.5 to 3.8 cm. A representative of this species has many color options, ranging from gray-blue and pale pink tones, and ending with almost black. Various color shades are created thanks to the dense colored hairs covering the body of the insect. Many will think that such a color of the bug deprives him of the opportunity to effectively hide. However, against the background of beech trunks, alpine barbel is almost invisible.

The central part of the pronotum is expressed by a black spot. On its sides there is a blunt tooth. A variable dark pattern adorns flat elytra, however, not all barbel has it. A distinctive feature of these insects is a long blue mustache, consisting of segments and having transverse stripes of thick black bristles. In males, they exceed the size of the body by 1.5-2 times, in women, the mustache reaches only the apex of the elytra. Below is an alpine barbel in the photo.

Beetle Alpine Barbel

Where does he live

The habitat of the alpine barbel is the countries of Central, Eastern and Southern Europe. Beetles also live in Denmark, the Caucasus, the Crimea, Turkey and Iran. Rosals are found in Russia and even in Africa.

Despite the fact that the alpine barbel is widespread almost everywhere, it is on the verge of extinction. It is for this reason that he is listed in the Red Book.

The favorite habitat of the alpine barbel is an old beech forest. Insects also prefer broad-leaved and mixed forests. Beetles also occur in the mountains at an altitude of not more than 1 km. There are also brave men who rise up to 1.5 km above sea level.

Beetles settle mainly on old trees, where there is rotting or damaged wood by mushrooms. Try to choose trees growing in the open, so that on sunny days to actively bask in the sun. Insects fly perfectly and actively defend themselves when attacked with their powerful jaws. Beetle breeding

How to breed

A fertilized female hurries to find a secluded crack in the bark of a dead tree and lay eggs in it. Most often, insects do egg laying on trees with a height of at least 3 m. After 2-4 weeks (depending on weather conditions), white larvae appear from them, which also feed under the bark of the tree. Having strengthened, they begin to lay a tunnel deep into the trunk, at the end of which they are arranging a place for pupation. This process occurs already in the second, and even in the third year of life. A young alpine barbel appeared from a pupa flies out of its shelter in search of a female.


Europe (north to south of Sweden), the Middle East, Turkey, Lebanon, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, possibly Kazakhstan (requires confirmation), Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus. Distributed in Russia in the Voronezh, Rostov, Samara (Zhiguli) and Chelyabinsk regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol territories, Karachay-Cherkessia (Teberda), Kabardino-Balkaria, Chechnya, Ingushetia and Bashkiria.


Eggs are laid in cracks in the bark and crevices of trees. Larvae are large, up to 40 mm white, with orange spots on the pronotum. They develop mainly in beech and elm wood, but it is also known from willow, hornbeam, oak, chestnut, pear, hawthorn, walnut, linden, ash and some others. Larvae live in wood more often than dead trees, sometimes in the border zone between the bast and cambium. Often develop in the transition zone between hard and softer wood. Adult larvae usually bite to the outer surface of the wood, where they pupate. The development cycle is three years.

Security Notices

It is listed in the Red Book of Russia (II category), listed in the Red List of IUCN-96, the European Red List, Appendix 2 of the Berne Convention. It is protected in the reserves of the Caucasus, Teberdinsky, Zhigulevsky and Shulgan-Tash.


  1. Striganova B.R., Zakharov A.A.The bilingual dictionary of animal names: Insects (Latin-Russian-English-German-French) / Ed. Dr. biol. sciences, prof. B.R. Striganova. - M.: RUSSO, 2000 .-- S. 153. - 1060 copies. - ISBN 5-88721-162-8

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Larvae develop in dead wood of deciduous trunks, both felled and standing. In most of the range, it prefers beech (Fagus), on xp. Lesser Nakas populates linden (Tilia cordata Mill.), Maple (Acer platanoides L.), and elm (Ulmus sp.). It begins to populate the trunks 1-2 years after dying, usually repeatedly for a number of seasons, while the wood retains the necessary degree of hardness. Beetles are most active during warm sunny weather during the day; they are found under the forest canopy on populated tree trunks. Flight of adults in the Orenburg region is observed from the end of June to July, depending on the phenological situation, activity can probably be delayed until the beginning of August.


Body length 15-38 mm. The body is in dense ash gray or bluish-gray hair, creating the main background. The upper side of the body with a variable black pattern, which is usually represented by a black spot at the apex of the pronotum, a spot at the base and in front of the top of each elytra and a common band in the middle. The mandibles of the male are longer, bifurcated at the apex, outside with a small denticle, the female is shorter, simpler. The antennae at the male extend beyond the apex of the elytra with the 7th segment, at the female - at the 9th segment, segments 3-6 (male) and 3-8 (female) at the apex with dense tufts of black hairs. Pronotum on sides with small tubercle.

Limiting factors.

The number is declining everywhere as a result of deforestation of deciduous and mixed forests. In the Orenburg region, only two populations of R. alpina are known, inhabiting indigenous broad-leaved forests of the Khr. Little Nakas. Suitable habitats for the species are currently highly fragmented, their area continues to decrease under the influence of anthropogenic press.

Necessary security measures.

To preserve the species populations in the Tulgan region, it is necessary to exclude the felling of dead trees in the massifs of old-growth broad-leaved forests, the organization of the Small Nakas forest-steppe reserve. It is necessary to further study the distribution of alpine barbel in the Orenburg region and the dynamics of its populations.

Morphological features

Relatively large beetle, body length - 15–38 mm. Black, in dense light gray or blue pubescence. Antennae and legs usually in bluish hairs, antennae with black ringlets on top. Pronotum with black spot near anterior margin. Pronotum disk on lateral margin in middle with blunt, oblique spine directed upward with shiny top. The elytra are elongated, parallel-sided, on the base in shiny flat tubercles, each with an edge spot in the main third, a wide band in the middle and a small spot in the apical third, the spots and band are black with a narrow bright border. The antennae of the male are 1.5–1.7 times longer than the body; in the female, they significantly extend beyond the apex of the elytra.

Biology features

It lives in deciduous, usually old, forests. Larvae develop in the wood of dead trees of various deciduous species, preferring beech. The larva hibernates. Pupation usually in June. Three-year generation. Beetles fly in July - August, are active in sundial, are found on tree trunks.

Security measures

The view is listed in Appendix II of the Berne Convention. It is protected in the Crimean and Yalta mountain forest reserves. It is necessary to take special practical protective measures, among which it is important to identify trees populated by the species with a ban on their harvesting during various logging in forests.