Baffling beetles

Even though I pride myself as a fairly competent coleopterist, I occasionally run into beetles that—despite my best efforts—I just cannot identify them beyond the family level. I don’t feel too bad about that, as the group’s 350,000 to 400,000 described species represent more than a third of all described life forms! Still, with the amount of information now available online combined with traditional print literature, it’s frustrating when I photograph species that seem quite distinctive but fail to show up in any search result. Here are a couple of South American beetles that I’ve pondered over for a year or more now. If you have any thoughts on their identity I would appreciate hearing from you.

Tenebrionidae? | Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.

Tenebrionidae? | Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.

This first beetle was encountered January 2011 on the trunk of a tree in the city of Campinas, southeastern Brazil (São Paulo State). I only got this one shot of it before it dropped and disappeared, and except for the bright green color of the head and pronotum it reminds me of some of the long-jointed beetles—formerly the family Lagriidae but now a subfamily of Tenebrionidae (darkling beetles).

Elateridae | Rt 16 nr. Rio Nego, Chaco Province, Argentina

Elateridae | Rt 16 nr. Rio Negro, Chaco Province, Argentina

This is without question a species of click beetle (family Elateridae), but despite its rather distinctive coloration I’ve not found any images that resemble it. I found these beetles fairly commonly on flowers of Solidago chilensis in April 2012 at several localities along Rt 16 in northern Argentina (Chaco Province).

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2013

About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
This entry was posted in Coleoptera, Elateridae and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Baffling beetles

  1. Ted,

    Rob Westerduijn (FaceBook) …might.. be able to help you with some of these. If you’re not a friend of his, I can try to connect you. However, if you can post them, I’ll Tag him on them, but you’ll need to tag ME on them, so I can find the pics easily. Just a thought. -R

  2. Cosmin Manci says:

    Hi Ted, for the first… maybe a Strongylium sp (Tenebrionidae) … just an idea. 🙂


  3. Jon Quist says:

    The tropics will humble even the greatest of us. I’ll let Sam know to look at the clicker.

  4. It is Strongylium – Tenebrionidae love to get them, Enrico Ruzzier working just on revision of this genus

  5. Hi Ted,

    You’re specimen is a Strongylium sp. (Tenebrionidae: Stenochiinae: Stenochiini)
    related with S. haemorrhoidale (Fabricius,1792)


  6. nutsfortreasure says:

    Cool with this snow pack we wont see any for awhile 🙂

  7. Sam says:

    Ah yes, those lovely tropical Conoderus!

  8. Wayne Seifert says:

    Conoderus, really, based on what? Do the claws really have setae? It could be but without some micro work it is very hard to get this to even a genus. Of all the hundreds of SA clicks I have in my collection I have never seen this particular one. Nice photo.

  9. Dominik Hofer says:

    Elateridae, Agrypninae, Oophorini, Conoderus sp. and most probably Conoderus malleatus.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s