Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mystery Peruvian Beetle(Bug?) and a Neuropteran

It has been a while since I posted - yeah, been busy with medical school and all that.  Still keeping my eye out for new insects, and since we are in the middle of moving to a new apartment, we are going to go through our collection and tidy it up a bit.  Several new additions and insects that need to be keyed, but here are the more interesting of the lot.

I'm essentially positive this fellow is a Neuropteran, but whether he is a giant lacewing or an antlion is yet to be decided.  We already packed our Borror and Delong key to insects of North America, so it will have to wait until after the move to be classified.  Here is the picture as a teaser - if anyone wants to venture a guess or identify it for us in the meantime, you are more than welcome!

On another note, this one is out of our range for keying - it was brought back by a friend who visited the Peruvian rainforest.  I was thrown off by the fact that the scutellum (seen in order Hemiptera, usually a small plate directly beneath the thorax) is maximally enlarged and both sets of wings are hidden beneath it.  This is characteristic of its family - named Scutelleridae because of it's elongated scutellum - to the point where it starts to closely resemble a beetle (Coleoptera).

Hemiptera; Pentatomomorpha; Pentatomoidea; Scutelleridae; Pachycoris sp.
Common Name: (Carnival or Clown?) Shield Bug 

These were some of the better pictures - somehow the surface of the insect became really sticky, not sure exactly what happened there - it also became more luminous.  Upon looking up other members of Scutelleridae in North America, I must say this one from Peru is far larger and has more impressive colorations.  I'm glad it will be our first representative of this family.  There are 37 species in North America, and 450 species worldwide - many in South America and known as jewel or shield bugs.