Subject: Chameleon bug
Geographic location of the bug: Glenbeigh Co Kerry Ireland
Time: 12:02 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Please identify this strange creature.
How you want your letter signed: Brian
We are not entirely certain why you are calling this Musk Beetle, Aromia moschata, a “Chameleon bug” but we can roll with that. According to Eakring Birds: “This is a huge beetle, probably the largest species found in Nottinghamshire. … this is a scarce beetle in Nottinghamshire anyway, and it’s stronghold may possibly be along the Trent and Idle Valleys. Named after it’s ability to produce a pleasant smell, Aromia moschata is a beetle that can also produce an audible sound when handled. It’s also one of the Longhorn Beetles and frankly, has no comparison in size with any others.” According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: “European regional assessment: listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large overall population, it occurs in a number of protected areas, has a tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.” The site goes on to list the following countries where the Musk Beetle is reported, a list that includes Ireland: “Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France (Corsica, France (mainland)); Germany; Greece (Greece (mainland)); Hungary; Ireland; Italy (Italy (mainland), Sicilia); Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Moldova; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal (Azores, Portugal (mainland)); Romania; Russian Federation (Central European Russia, East European Russia, European Russia, Kaliningrad, North European Russia, Northwest European Russia, South European Russia); Serbia (Kosovo, Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain (Spain (mainland)); Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey (Turkey-in-Europe); Ukraine (Krym, Ukraine (main part)); United Kingdom (Great Britain, Northern Ireland)”
Thank you! Chameleon because it seemed to change colours. Maybe it was the way the light was shining on it.
It does appear to have a purple to green sheen in the images we have seen.