Subject: Is this a CALLIPOGON ?
Location: Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic.
November 11, 2012 8:36 am
This giant bug, about 4” long was found this morning in Jarabacoa. Dominican Republic.
Can you please help me identify it?
Signature: Mario Davalos
We know we have seen images of this beetle or a close relative previously, however, we are having problems identifying it, so we decided to post your image prior to an identification. We do not believe it is in the genus Callipogon, though we do believe it is in the same subfamily, Prioninae. We checked several websites with no luck, including Coleop-Terra and the Worldwide Cerambycoidea Photo Gallery where the closest match we could find are the members of the genus Macrodontia. We did not think a beetle this distinctive would be so difficult to identify. We are going to contact Eric Eaton for assistance.
Thank you. I’ll await news. Hopefully we’ll be able to identify it.
Hi again Mario,
It seems you were correct with the Callipogon identification. Our loyal reader and frequent contributor Cesar Crash from Brazil has provided the name Callipogon sericeum as the species and the Harvard Collection of Caribbean Insects has fourteen images of mounted specimens from the collection. We also found a matching photo on the Cerambycidae of Cuba website despite our original search of those key words coming up blank. Perhaps not all males have such well developed mandibles, or perhaps some of the images posted online are actually of different species. At any rate, all indications are that this species is a rarity that is commanding very high prices on online auctions of individuals nowhere near as impressive as the individual in your photograph. Congratulations on a gorgeous photograph of a living specimen, especially since we cannot seem to find any other examples of living males with such developed mandibles anywhere online.