Giant Harlequin Beetle from South America

Hey folks, one from Suriname for you.
Haven’t sent anything in a while – a tribute to your site. However, on a recent trip to Suriname, a 3-4 inch long beauty found me at the airport. Interesting creature in the middle of the airport at the start of rainy season.
Taran Rampersad

Hi Taran,
We are happy to hear you are able to easily identify most of your insects through our site. This is a Giant Harlequin Beetle, Acrocinus longimanus. It is found in many South American countries. Your specimen is a female. The is a marked sexual dimorphism found in this species, with the forelegs of the male beetles being nearly twice as long as those of the female.

Very cool, Daniel – thanks! I blogged about it: Scores Again: Giant Harlequin Beetle
When I saw this insect at the Paramaribo Airport on the way out of Suriname , I was intrigued. 3-4 inches long, and very interesting patterns on its back (click image to see larger version) – I was curious to know what it was, guessing it to be some form of soldier beetle . I couldn’t find it on the web anywhere, so I decided to write What’s That Bug? and within 24 hours – despite being swamped, they identified it as a Harlequin Beetle, Acrocinus longimanus . Apparently, this is the first bit of information on it on the web, as searching for Harlequin Beetle and Acrocinus longimanus turns up absolutely no results at the time of this writing other than noting that it is missing in the Wikipedia . Go figure. In searching around for information on it, I found out that longimanus is ‘????????? “Macrocheir (Latin =Longimanus)”‘ through the referencec on Artaxerxes I of Persia , which is related to the disparity in length of appendages. Interesting stuff.

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