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Author Topic: Help identify an insect  (Read 4491 times)

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« on: November 20, 2010, 13:03 »
It's a beetle, I suppose. But before I try to find it in the internet, any hint about classification, family, whatever, will help narrow the search.


I will take better picture once it's dead. Unfortunately I don't have anything to sedate it. I'm glad I was in my bedroom when this thing entered and I heard it hitting the curtain. Imagine finding it walking on me in the middle of the night?!

« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2010, 13:25 »
It may be in the family Soldier Beetles (Cantharidae)
Did you post this in the SS forum? There are some people there who are really good at identifying insects.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2010, 13:30 by epantha »

« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2010, 13:27 »
Is that maybe a box elder bug

« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2010, 14:04 »
Alpy, judging by the photos I saw, it doesn't look a boxelder.

Epantha, it seems the soldiers have a longer body, isn't it?  I'm not at SS, but thanks for the hint.

There is a very good guide, BugGuide, but it's so huge that is difficult to find it. We can write for help identifying a bug, but I should contact people here first, as this may be endemic to Brasil.


« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2010, 14:15 »
Looks a lot like a June Bug.  As kids, we used to tie a piece of sewing thread to a leg and let them fly around us.  Toys are much more interesting now.   I tried to teach my grandson (then 12) this and he was totally bored.   ::)

« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2010, 14:33 »

I have just checked the june bugs (and there are may bugs too!) and it seems their upper body is as large as the lower body with wings. Mine however has a narrow upper body. Another important characteristic I notice - and I'm trying to use it as a visual clue to find a better match - is the lighter edges on the wings.

« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2010, 16:36 »

« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2010, 18:32 »
A firefly? Let me turn off the lights!  ;D

I may be getting closer with these here:

« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2010, 18:55 »
Any ideas of how I can make the little guy quiet without letting it die? Putting on the refrigerator for some minutes?

« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2010, 21:43 »
I was just gonna say, our friend usually puts them in the fridge for about ten minutes. It slows them down long enough for him to take their pics, but when they warm up again, they scurry around.
Good luck! :)

« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2010, 11:23 »
I killed it.   :-[  

The fridge trick didn't work, its legs where retracted (just like us, I think, it tried to keep warm this way).  As soon as it warmed again it starting racing in front of my lens.

I then started putting a lid on it to see if I could get it quiet when I removed the lid, but it was always quick. It was fun to see the lid moving with it underneath too....

Then I tried a trick I have used with other insects, having it breathe alcohol.  I think I overdid it.  At first it looked only dizzy, moving its legs once in a while (I was photographing its belly at this point), but then it stopped moving completely.   :'(

« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2010, 16:49 »
The bug experts I've talked to say to put the bug in the fridge for about 30 minutes, enough time to really cool them down, although some bugs cool down better than others. Maybe next time? :-\ Or you can click away using a fast shutter speed as they crawl around.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 16:52 by epantha »

« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2010, 18:45 »

I think the problem is that this bug didn't simply froze with the cold fridge air, it contracted, so it wasn't "photographable".

« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2010, 14:12 »
Ok, got a reply from an entomologist today.  The bug is a "Mecistomela marginata", a plague in coconut trees (and we have many coconut trees one block from here).

Mine doesn't have that light brown line inside the wings, just around, and its belly is light brown too, not dark as seen in the second link, so I am not sure this a perfect match.



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