Subject: Pelidnota sp. from Ecuador
January 9, 2016 7:31 am
Found this at Cabanas San Isidro on the west slope of the Andes in Ecuador. Pattern of black spots does not match the Grapevine Borer we have in North America. Two photos found with an internet search were also taken in Ecuador that match mine, but neither of this is identified to species. Can this one be identified? Thanks very much!
Signature: Allen T. Chartier
Hi Again Allen,
We cannot say for certain that this is a member of the genus Pelidnota despite its resemblance to the North American Grapevine Beetle. We do believe it is is the Shining Leaf Chafer subfamily Rutilinae. Alas, we have not had any luck finding any matching images online. Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck than we have had.
Thanks again for the quick reply. I have been fooled before with look-alikes to North American species. Has any museum put out digital photos of their insect collections? I know that many are doing that for birds…
Allen T. Chartier
Not that we know about.
Karl provides an identification
Hi Daniel and Allen:
Your beetle is probably Ancognatha sp., specifically Ancognatha vulgaris (Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae). As a group, beetles in the subfamily Dynastinae are often referred to as Rhinoceros Beetles because of characteristic horns worn by the males of most species. This species is appears atypical in that respect, based on a photo of both sexes posted on the Perou-Insectes site. Regarding your inquiry about museums posting digital photos of their insect collections, there are a few but they tend to be very specific regionally, taxonomically or both. Less focussed online databases are usually rather sparse but sometimes you get lucky. For example, click on the image at: the Pictorial beetle collection of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (Mal, N., Drumont, A., Kerkhof, S. & P. Grootaert, 2012). Regards. Karl