Beetle found on an agave plant
Sun, May 17, 2009 at 11:59 AM
Would like to know the identity of this beetle. Found near Sedona, AZ on 5/17/09 on the stem of an agave (century plant) starting to bloom. Body about 4 cm long. Two different beetles are shown, one with spot at end of body, one without. They are assumed to be the same species – perhaps male and female?
Your insect is not a beetle, but rather a true bug. It is a Giant Agave Bug, Acanthocephala thomasi. Unlike beetles which have chewing mouthparts, the true bugs have piercing and sucking mouthparts. The Giant Agave Bug feeds on the juices of the agave plant. Look at BugGuide for more photos on the Giant Agave Bug which is found in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.