Mon, May 25, 2009 at 2:04 PM
A long time ago I spotted this interesting insect in my laundry room. It is dark brown, with black wings, thin, has a relatively small head and, maybe most importantly, has curled, feathery antennae. It is approximately 1.5 to 2 centimeters long. The bug was found in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in January (summer). The weather was quite hot on that night (about 30° Celsius).
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Sao Paulo, Brazil
Often with exotica, we are totally clueless as to identity. That said, we believe this is a beetle, possibly a male Glowworm in the family Phengodidae, or maybe a Fire Colored Beetle in the family Pyrochroidae. We would favor a Glowworm. Hopefully, a reader will be able to assist in a more accurate identification.
Update: A Differing Opinion
Since the antennal appendages are lined up along one side only (bilaterally asymmetrical), I think this guy might be in the family Rhipiceridae (=Rhipiceratidae). It is difficult to find much useful information or photos for this relatively obscure group, but I believe it may be a species of the genus Rhipicera (=Rhipidocera) which occurs in Brazil (31_rhipiceratidae) and Australia . In Australia they are called feather-horn beetles. Another candidate genus could be Callirhipis (=Callirrhipis), another Old and New World genus. As you may have gathered, the taxonomy for this group is rather confusing. There is agreement that both of the above genera belong to the Suborder Polyphaga, along with the North and South American genus Sandalus, but there is little agreement regarding their placement in the same family, or even superfamily. Most “Rhipicerid” larvae are parasites on cicada larvae; the Bugguide refers to the Rhipiceridae as cicada parasite beetles (alternatively cedar beetles). Or I could be on the wrong track altogether. Regards.