Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Harlequin beetle

Towards the end of our tour yesterday, Brad, Christie and I stopped to look at the tatajuba logs described in the previous post. I was focused in on the log that had been chainsawed when I heard Brad say "What's that?" He had spotted the beetle you see in the image coming up from the underside of another log on the other side of the road. I just couldn't believe the size of the beetle. That log must be at least 15-18 inches in diameter and the front appendages of the beetle almost spanned that space. Aside from size, the beetle was in true Technicolor. To get a better look, click in on the image to increase the size. I didn't expect to find a name for this beetle so quickly but flipping through Charles Hogue's Latin American Insects and Entomology, I think I can safely say that it's a harlequin beetle (Acrocinus longimanus). Amazing that in all the years I've been at Bosque Santa Lucia, I'd never seen this beetle. It just confirms what I always say to guests, there's some new every time I walk the trails.

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