November 10, 2009
I saw these on a (low) hill path in Zhongshan in China yesterday and wondered what they are? Is it mother and child or a male/female couple? Thanks
Zhongshan city, GuangDong, CHina
The markings on your beetles are different than those on examples of Mango Stem Borers, Batocera rufomaculata, that we have posted previously, but there are enough similarities for us to question if this is perhaps a regional variation. Your beetles might be a closely related species in the genus Batocera, like perhaps Batocera davidis, or perhaps a member of another genus in the Long Horned Borer family Cerambycidae. In our opinion, this is a couple. Perhaps one of our readers can assist in this identification.
Update from Karl
They are definitely a Batocera species (Cerambycidae: Lamiinae: Batocerini) but not B. rufomaculata. There are several similar looking species in Asia, but as far as I can tell only B. davidis and B. rubus occur in China. The B. davidis photo that you linked to does look very much like the ones in Neil’s photo, but most images of B. davidis do not show the prominent white spots on the elytra. This could be an example of regional variation, or it could be another case of misidentified photos on the web. On the other hand, there are numerous postings of B. rubus and they all appear very similar. For comparison, the ‘Siam Insect-Zoo & Museum’ site has excellent photos and descriptions of all the species mentioned here. I think I have to go with B. rubus. Coincidentally, I also came across a photo of mating B. rubus (subspecies mniszechi) from the Philippines that is remarkably similar to the one posted by Neil. Regards.