Subject: stages of the same beetle?
Location: Chiriqui province, Panama
December 26, 2013 5:55 pm
The first photo was taken on 12/17, the second on 12/25. Are all of these beetles the same kind, just in various stages of development or is the color difference related to sex?
Your assessment of the insects in these photos is partially correct and partially incorrect. You are correct that they are various stages of development of the same species, however these are Big Legged Bugs or Leaf Footed Bugs in the family Coreidae, not beetles. Beetles undergo complete metamorphosis, and they transform from grubs that bear no resemblance to the adults. True Bugs undergo incomplete metamorphosis, and nymphs look similar in structure to adults, though they might have different colors and markings. Your Big Legged Bugs are Giant Mesquite Bugs in the genus Thasus, most likely Thasus acutangulus.
Thank you once again. Fascinating. Very helpful.