Honduras: Huge beetle
Location: El Piliguin, Honduras, Central America
November 17, 2011 11:38 am
Evening Mr. Bugman, I recently encountered this huge beetle in Piliguin Mountain, Honduras, Central America. It appears to be a Rove Beetle of some sort, however it far exceeds the size descriptions i have come across. It was hidden under rocky terrain and the approximate length was around 9.0-10.0 cm. (90-100 mm). Thank you in advance 🙂
This positively gorgeous creature is a Walkingstick or Phasmid. Our initial search did not provide any conclusive species or genus identification, but your individual reminds us of an Ecuadorean Walkingstick we posted in the past from the genus Monticomorpha. Most of the species in the genus have a range limited to Andean highlands, but your email indicates that this individual was found on a mountain. We suspect your individual is closely related and perhaps a member of the same genus, and possibly an undescribed species or a known species with an undocumented range. We hope we are able to turn up something conclusive for you. The Phasmatodea.com site has some photos of mounted specimens and names of the genus members.
Often red and black coloration is considered aposomatic or warning coloration, and there are Walkingsticks in the family Pseudophasmatidae, that includes Monticomorpha, that are capable of spraying a noxious chemical with amazing accuracy, including the North American Muskmare.
December 6, 2011
A comment posted today indicates that this lovely Walkingstick is in the genus Autolyca and that chances are good it is a species new to science.
January 9, 2014
We just received a comment in Spanish from Leonel who wrote: “En Honduras a este fásmido se le conocce con el nombre de “chilincoco” y se considera venoso por su secreción.” If our Spanish isn’t too rusty, we believe this state: In Honduras this phasmid is called by the name “chilincoco” and it is considered venomous because of its secretions. This lends weight to our speculation that like the Muskmare, it can produce a noxious spray.