Subject:  Large bright red beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Limbe, Malawi
Date: 06/10/2018
Time: 06:47 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, my mother found this beetle a few days ago. I cannot find a similar one on the Internet. It was long with large mandibles and scarlet.:  Allnutty

Blister Beetle: Synhoria testacea

Dear Allnutty,
The first thing we have to say is WOW, that is one impressive beetle.  Interestingly, as we began our research, we found this very beetle pictured on the Travel Malawi Guide site, but alas there was no identification.  Though its appearance is not typical of the family, the antennae caused us to ponder if this might be a Blister Beetle in the family Meloidae, and there is one North American species that has a similar large head and mandibles, the Big Eared Blister Beetle,
Cissites auriculata, which is pictured on BugGuide, so we started our more thorough search with the subfamily Nemognathinae.  That led us to the Researchgate and Meloidae of Namibia where Plate #6 pictures Synhoria testacea.  We verified that identification on iNaturalist where there are several wonderful images.  It is also pictured on What Species?


Location: Limbe, Malawi

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