Some moths from southern Idaho!
Male Dobsonfly (megaloptera)
Harlequin Beetle - Acrocinus longimanus
This large tropical long-horned beetle is scientifically named Acrocinus longimanus (Coleoptera - Cerambycidae), and is commonly known as Harlequin Beetle due to its distinct red, black and orange markings on its wing covers.
The Harlequin Beetle is also distinguished by its extremely long forelimbs, which often extend longer than the entire body of the insect. The long antennae are the primary means of sensing its surrounding environment.
This species is native to and widespread throughout southern Mexico and South America.
Photo credit: ©Pedro H. Martins | Locality: Confins, Minas Gerais, Brazil (2012)
Beneficial Bug of the Day: American Burying Beetle: Nicrophorus americanus
This is one of my favorite beetles. It is a fascinating animal for many reasons. These beetles not only are one of a few insects to engage in parental care, they are even more remarkable as both parents work together to care for their young.
The adults have a highly sensitive sense of smell which they use to find small dead animals, most often rodents. They then bury the dead carcass underground. They then chew the rodent into a meatball, and lay their eggs onto it. Once their larvae hatch, they protect them, and even feed the young chewed up bits of the carrion…much like that of bird parents! Their rather gross habits rid the environment of disease carrying dead rodents. They also decrease fly populations, as many of the adult beetles carry phoretic mites on their bodies which will eat any fly eggs that the dead rodents may contain.
This particular species is endangered. Habitat destruction and an increase in competition from increased population of scavengers (coyotes, raccoons, etc have increased lately due to their generalist lifestyle. A decrease in apex predators, such as mountain lions and wolves, also led to an increase in mesopredators). The beetle is Federally protected, and many breeding programs are in place to help their conservation effort.
What’s this? What’s this? There’s striped things in the air.
wehnever you think of me just imagine this