Potential Hardwood Stump Borer and a Striped Caterpillar Aggregation from Mexico finally identified as Arsenura armida

beetle and caterpillar from Mexico
Hi there,
I know you are specialized in the bugs of North America but while browsing your great site I noticed you sometimes have exotics as well, so I thought I might give it a try. Since August last year we live in Quintana Roo, Southern Mexican Caribbean and just love the wide variety of animals especially the insects here. We always try to find out what we have seen, but there are some we couldn´t identify so far. Any ideas about this huge beetle or the big caterpillars that all gathered at this tree. The cute yellow and black one was quiet small. Thanks a lot!

Hi Jacquiline,
Your beetle is a Cerambycid, one of the Longhorn Borers. It looks suspiciously like the Hardwood Stump Borer, Mallodon dasystomus, which is the only species of the genus found in North America. We could not locate any images online of Central American species, and perhaps one of our readers can provide an answer. Regarding the Striped Caterpillar Aggregation, we received another photo of this caterpillar in August 2006 and it is still unidentified.

Update: (06/30/2008) Arsenura armida Caterpillars
With our fourth submission of Caterpillar Aggregation images, we are convinced that this species is Arsenura armida, a Neotropical Silkmoth that ranges from tropical Mexico to Bolivia and Southeastern Brazil. We just located a website with valuable information written by James T. Costa , Department of Biology Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC.
Ed. Note:
July 8, 2009
Back in November 2007, Eric Eaton wrote in to identify another image of this beetle as Callipogon barbatus.  According to an online website, the species if found in Guatemala and Panama though our submissions hail from Mexico.

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