6 June 2011
Patent leather beetle
Posted by Callan Bentley
It’s a morning for big bugs, evidently. Chris Town found a giant water bug on the other side of the planet, and as I arrived on campus, I found a female patent leather beetle crossing the parking lot. I imaged her a couple of different ways – a macro photo pair with my Canon Elph, and then an attempt at scanning her (though she didn’t stay still, with interesting color separation effects):
These are large, charismatic beetles found in rotting logs and leaf litter (and community college faculty parking lots) in eastern U.S. forests. They make a squealing, whining noise if you pick them up, and they will bite with powerful mandibles if mistreated. They look, as their name implies, like a shiny patent leather shoe.
How do you tell whether it’s male or female?
The “horns” on the head are different.
Exactly in what ways are they different?