Some Ladybug Impostor
February 25, 2010
Ever since I bought my camera, it had always been my wish to be able to take a photo of a nice red ladybug with those cute black spots. I never had a chance, however, as I always see those ladybugs with a dull yellow color instead. One day, during a company outing, I saw this HUGE ladybug-like insect on the lamp post and I thought my dream of a ladybug picture had finally come true (with a large one to boot!). But looking at it, it doesn’t really seem to be a ladybug at all, except for the colors. This was confirmed by everything-ladybug.com, who said that ladybugs are fairly consistent in their oval/round shape, which is not true in this insect. So, since my dreams are all crushed now, I just want to know what bug this is who tried to fool me into thinking that it’s a ladybug… Thanks in advance for your help in this!
While we think Ladybugs are lovely creatures, we feel that the subject of your photo, a Longicorn in the family Cerambycidae, is far more special. We tried doing a web search, and found the Insect Designs website of specimens for sale. One species from the Philippines, Cereopsius praetorius, looks close, and there is a note that the pattern varies. We found a second website, Saluguband Philippine Beetles, with images of dead specimens as well. Though the markings on the dead specimens are similar to your photo, the colors are not nearly as vivid. Often dead specimens lose their vibrant coloration. Perhaps Karl will have better luck confirming this identification.
Wow, I’m really impressed how fast you guys can identify bugs. Anyway, I’m also grateful for your reply. Now I can appreciate this ladybug impostor more knowing that it is far more special than the ladybug it is trying to look like 🙂
I think you got it, Daniel. It must be a Cereopsius and although there are at least 10 species in the Philippines, none look nearly as close as C. praetorius (I was able to find images of all but one). K