Mystery Beetle with fan-like antennae
Location: Central Ohio (in October)
October 25, 2011 3:29 pm
Hi! I found this bug while walking down the street and didn’t know what it was. It has very interesting antennae and seems like it should be fairly easy to identify but I cannot find it anywhere. I was just wondering if you could help me out. Thanks for your help!
We looked at your photo last night and decided your entry would most likely take us some time to research, so we postponed until morning when our staff is fresh. At first glance we thought this was some species of Scarab Beetle, but searching BugGuide proved fruitless. We expanded the search to related families and we finally discovered the Cicada Parasite Beetles or Cedar Beetles in the genus Sandalus, a new genus for our site, and the family Rhipiceridae. According to BugGuide: “Adults active primarily from Aug to Oct” and “Adults apparently do not feed.” The most interesting information on BugGuide is “Species undergo hypermetamorphosis and are ectoparasitoids of nymphal cicadas (1) Species are infrequent to rare. (2) When encountered, often found in large numbers during the day, indicating that a pheromone was used. (1) On one day in late September, near Bloomington, Ind., 12 specimens were collected on hickory trunks or in flight in just 1 hour. Collecting at the same time in the same place during previous years had yielded no specimens. It is likely that these beetles were parasites on the brood of periodical cicadas which had emerged the previous year. (2) Rings (1942) recorded 16,846 eggs from a single female S. niger.” We thought we would need to create a new category for our new species, but upon searching our own archives, we discovered this posting of a Feather Horned Beetle from Australia, also in the family Rhipiceridae. In that particular posting, we wrote: “If the closest relatives found in North America (see BugGuide) are known as Cicada Parasite Beetles, it might be deduced that the same might be true of the Australian members of the family since Australia has such a robust population of Cicadas.” Thanks for sending us your photo and for starting our day with some exciting revelations.