Beetle from Cloud forest in Ecuadorian Andes
Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 8:46 PM
We just got back from Milpe in Ecuador (elevation 1500 meters) and came across this beautiful beetle. Can you ID?
BTW. We saw an almost identical Scorpion bug in the Amazon as the one noted in Thailand. I am attaching pic. Amazing how they can be found in areas so far away from each other.
Milpe Ecuador

Buprestid? or Elaterid?

Click Beetle: genus Semiotus

Dear Mtnchk,
We not be able to ever get you a definitive species identification on your beetle, but first we need to start with the family. We are not sure if your beetle is a Jewel Beetle (AKA Metallic Wood Boring Beetle) in the family Buprestidae, or a Click Beetle in the family Elateridae. Our first thought was a Buprestid because of the coloration, but the thoracic area has us inclined to speculate that this is an Elaterid. Click Beetles get their common name from their ability to snap their bodies at the junction of the thorax and abdomen. If the beetle finds itself on its back, this ability allows it to right itself by snapping its body against the hard ground, propelling the beetle high into the air and producing an audible clicking sound. Most North American Click Beetles are drab in coloration, but some tropical species are brightly colored. We hope one of our expert contributors will be able to at least narrow the family and perhaps identify the species.

Tailless Whipscorpion

Tailless Whipscorpion

Also, thanks for including your Ecuadorean example of a Tailless Whipscorpion.

Update: from Eric Eaton
Hi, Daniel:
It is indeed a click beetle, in the genus Semiotus. The whole genus is quite colorful!

Dear Daniel,
This is fantastic. I really appreciate your quick and thorough response. What a great website you have and I have actually given you a very positive rating as a new website for “Stumble upon” where I was when I came upon your website. I hope this gives you many more hits which lead to some financial gains- you certainly deserve it!
Mtnchk (Rebecca

Hi Daniel
It goes by the common name ‘Cucuya’ in Ecuador and it is a click beetle (family Elateridae); probably Semiotus illigeri. It occurs in Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia and Ecuador. Semiotus is a large neotropical genus with 31 representatives in Ecuador. Images are hard to find but the ‘Natural History Museum of Los Angeles’ has posted a report on the genus that includes numerous distribution maps and excellent color plates (look for Figure 227). Regards.

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