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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Another mystery insect

I have commented before on these pages how things seem to happen in patterns, and if we understood why, we would be a damn sight closer to understanding the way that the omniverse works.


For the second time toiday, therefore, a mystery insect from Usenet, and for the second time today I don't know what it is....

2 comments:

Dr Dan Holdsworth said...

What you have there is a blister beetle of some sort (they are fairly widespread across the world) which has tried to dispute right of way with a car, and lost.

Now, the important thing with beetles of this type that you should always remember is that if the animal has bright colours, it is going to be toxic. Blister beetles synthesise cantharidin and export this to their blood (technically haemolymph), and if annoyed bleed to give the predator a dose of the toxin; this means that if a bird should eat one, it'll get a full dose and it really won't be happy about that.

Blister beetles get their name because their blood causes blistering on human and other mammal skin; NEVER pick one up with your bare hands but always use forceps, and store the remains in a securely stoppered glass vial (not plastic; volatiles can percolate through low density polythene).

The distinguishing factor here is the colour of the beetle, and the presence of wings. Some tiger beetles look similar to this, but they're mostly flightless pursuit predators which size for size are probably the fastest running animals in the world; some even run so fast that their visual system cannot keep up, so tend to run in short dashes, pausing for a look round every so often.

Kieren said...

This isn't a blister beetle (Family: Meloidae), it's a burying beetle (Family: Silphidae). Specificially it's one of the species in the Genus Nicrophorus.