Re: AW Insect Book: Beetles - Photos & Descriptions

Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:52 pm

Armoured Darkling Beetle Anomalipus sp.
Family: Tenebrionidae. Subfamily: Tenebrioninae. Tribe: Pedinini

Image © Kesheshe
Kruger National Park

Anomalipus is a genus of large, hard, flightless darkling beetles with strongly sculptured elytra, with several ribs. They are heavily built and have strong legs.
The genus Anomalipus is comprised of 51 species in Eastern and Southern Africa, 34 of which have been recorded from South Africa.
They feed on dead plant material.

Re: AW Insect Book: Beetles - Photos & Descriptions

Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:31 pm

Giant Longhorn Beetle Phantasis gigantea
Family: Cerambycidae: Subfamily: Lamiinae

Image © Kesheshe
Kruger National Park

Image © BluTuna
Kruger National Park

Description
Size: 42 mm long. Raised tuberculous lines on the elytra with smaller tubercles betwees the lines. Antennae 11-jointed.

Distribution
Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

Re: AW Insect Book: Beetles - Photos & Descriptions

Thu May 01, 2014 5:52 pm

Frantic Tortoise Beetle Zophosis sp.
Family: Tenebrionidae. Subfamily: Pimeliinae. Tribe: Zophosini.

Image
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

The Zophosini are an Old World tribe of apterous (flightless) Tenebrionidae. Their centre of origin is assumed to be the northern part of southwestern Africa (Namibia) and the border region of southwestern Angola. There are many species in the region.

Biology
Adults are active in the heat of the day and scuttle about rapidly, almost swimming across the sand.

Habitat
Coarse gravelly sand, hard silt pans or base of small shrubs in arid areas.

Re: AW Insect Book: Beetles - Photos & Descriptions

Fri May 02, 2014 6:09 pm

Hairy Darkling Beetle Lagria sp.
Family: Tenebrionidae. Subfamily: Lagriinae. Tribe: Lagriini

Image
Imfolozi

Identification
Smallish (body length 11 mm), soft-bodied, dull metallic brown, green, or violet, covered with whitish hairs, surface strongly punctured. Head and pronotum narrower than bulbous abdomen. Antennae bead-like, thickened towards the tip.

Biology
Adults and larvae are herbivorous. Pest on beans.

Habitat
Common on grass in bushveld and savanna.

Related species
There are many similar species.

Re: AW Insect Book: Beetles - Photos & Descriptions

Tue May 06, 2014 3:29 pm

Hairy Darkling Beetle Lagria sp., possibly Lagria vulnerata
Family: Tenebrionidae. Subfamily: Lagriinae. Tribe: Lagriini

Image © BluTuna

Image © BluTuna
Garden in Johannesburg

Another Hairy Darkling Beetle, this one looks very similar to the beetle in the Field Guide. -O-

Links: Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths, Alan Weaving: Field Guide to Insects of South Africa

Re: AW Insect Book: Beetles - Photos & Descriptions

Thu May 08, 2014 12:01 am

Toktokkie Psammodes sp.
Family: Tenebrionidae

Image © Tina
Tankwa Karoo National Park

Toktokkies (Psammodes and related genera) are stout, heavy-bodied and wingless, with a tough outer casing.
Size: Length up to 65 mm.
Colour: Black or dark brown.
Habitat: More arid, warmer areas, with sandy soil and little ground cover.
The beetle makes the noise by raising its abdomen and then bringing it down on the surface of the ground several times in quick succession. The tapping is a form of communication between both sexes. The male initiates the tapping and is answered by a receptive female. After a prolonged exchange of signals, the pair finally make contact and mate. The females lay single eggs, each about 6 mm long, which they place in a shallow hollow in the ground. The long, yellow larvae that hatch live in the soil.
The mature toktokkie beetle scavenges on a variety of plant and animal debris.

Re: AW Insect Book: Beetles - Photos & Descriptions

Fri May 09, 2014 3:24 pm

Ladybird Platynaspis sp., possibly Platynaspis capicola
Family: Coccinellidae. Subfamily: Coccinellinae. Tribe: Platynaspini

Image © BluTuna
Johannesburg

The beetles in the genus Platynaspis are 2.5 to 4.8 mm long and have a hairy body. The elytra are black and each carrying two large orange red spots (one slightly anteromedian and one near the apex) The two spots near the apex are smaller. The pronotum is curved downwards with small red or white lateral spots. The clypeus (forehead) extends around the eyes. This feature distinguishes the genus from other small ladybug species. The clypeus is sometimes yellowish white in the male, black in females. The compound eyes are black.

Seven species occur in the region: Platynaspis capicola, P. litura, P. marginata, P. pilosa, P. silvestri, P. solieri, P.vittiger.

Description
Platynaspis capicola is black with pronotal angles yellowish and with two red spots on each elytron, posterior spot smaller than anterior. The dorsum is finely pubescent. Total length is 2.7 mm.

Distribution
Platynaspis capicola is recorded from Africa, Madagascar, the Seychelles and the Mascarenes.

Biology
These ladybirds are predators of aphids and scale insects.

Re: AW Insect Book: Beetles - Photos & Descriptions

Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:34 pm

Glow Worm possibly Lampyris sp
Family: Lampyridae. Subfamily: Lampyrinae

Image © BluTuna
Male

Image © BluTuna
Kruger National Park, Shingwedzi

Lampyrids (glow worms and fireflies) are elongate and slender. Head hidden under thorax shield. Eyes protuberant. Antennae short.
Both sexes of fireflies (subfamily Luciolinae) are winged.
In glow worms (subfamily Lampyrinae) females are wingless, larva-like and transmit light while crawling on vegetation. Light-producing organ at abdomen tip attracts mates.
Larvae prey on snails, but adults don't feed.

The subfamily Lampyrinae contains 3 genera in the region:
Diaphanes (D. marginipennis, D. rhodesianus, D. sjostedti)
Lampyris (L. atripennis, L. discicollis, L. imbecilla, L. longicollis, L. melanoptera, L. mosambica, L. natalensis, L. nigripennis, L. tinctoria, L. troglodytes)
Nyctophila (N. conspicua)

Re: AW Insect Book: Beetles - Photos & Descriptions

Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:24 am

Pedunculate Ground Beetle
Family: Carabidae. Subfamily: Scaritinae

Image © Flutterby
Lower Sabie, Kuger National Park

Pedunculate Ground Beetle of the subfamily Scaritinae have large fierce mandibles and a pedunculate body: The ponontum and the hindbody are separated and linked by a neck.
Some species have flat front legs for digging in sand hunting insect larvae and worms below ground. Some species are wingless.

The subfamily contains five tibes in the region: Clivinini (genera Antireicheia, Clivina, Pseudoclivina), Dyschiriini (genera Cribrodyschirius, Dyschiriodes, Striganoviella), Palaeoaxinidiini (gebus Palaeoaxinidium), Promecognathini (genera Axinidium, Holaxinidium, Metaxinidium, Paraxinidium), Scaritini (genera: Acanthoscelis, Haplotrachelus, Macromorphus, Pachyodontus, Passalidius, Scarites).

Re: AW Insect Book: Beetles - Photos & Descriptions

Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:34 pm

Tar Darkling Beetle Somaticus sp.
Family: Tenebrionidae. Subfamily: Pimeliinae. Tribe: Sepidiini

Image © BluTuna
Kruger National Park,Tshange

Somaticus is a an Afrotropical genus of large darkling beetles. Adults are omnivorous scavengers, and the larvae, known as False wireworms, feed on plant roots. The adults are matt black with longitudinal ridges on the pronotum and elytra, and may be covered in hairs.