I was in Real, Quezon lately for some photo documentary work and was able to venture into Cawayan Falls. While trekking in the morning into some forested area, I was just amazed that on a stump of wood, evidence of a cleared area for cultivation, a pair of Batocera rubus mniszechi THOMSON 1864 was getting ready for a copulation. I hurriedly got my camera and took some images.
This longhorn beetle is rather common in Luzon and it is identifiable by its pair of red markings located on it’s pronotum, generally darker color, as well as the spots on it’s elytra. It’s a medium sized Batocera (Batocerini, Lamiinae) species, about 50mm in length excluding the antennae. Subspecies mniszechi is on of two found in the country. The other is ssp. palawanica KAUP 1866 found in, well, Palawan Island.
What differentiates this from Batocera magica THOMSON 1859 is just the presence of the red pronotal spots. As for range, both species are not sympatric. B. rubus is found only in Luzon and Palawan while B. magica is found in Mindanao, Bohol, Camotes and Leyte (and maybe Samar and Cebu too).
With the longhorn beetle specimens sent by my friend Eduard, I finally have the real Podanychroma monticola HUDEPOHL 1989. Last year, I posted about a wrongly identified Polyzonus schmidti SCHWARZER 1926. Now, this confusion has finally been laid to rest.
Eduard Vives sent me a few cerambycid specimens last year, ones that are still not in my collection. Of the total six species, I was only able to take the photos of three since the rest were still papered and one, Xixuthrus microcerus WHITE 1853 was badly damaged in transit. These three are:
- Aprophata ruficollis HELLER 1916
- Dolichoprosoplus philippinensis BREUNING 1980
- Podanychroma monticola HUDEPOHL 1989
I’m always enthusiastic whenever new species come my way. Thanx Eduard.
It’s just amazing how nature can shape insect appendages and forms in the race for cometition. In a New York Times article entitled Extravagant Results of Nature’s Arms Race Nicholas Wade wrote:
Competition among males is often expressed in the form of elaborate weapons made of bone, horn or chitin. The weapons often start off small and then, under the pressure of competition, may evolve to attain gigantic proportions.
This is indeed an interesting article and many samples of beetles, predominantly Scarabs and genus Onthophagus, are shown in the accompanying slideshow.
Dynastinae and several subfamilies of Scarabaeidae and Lucanidae have these armaments. In the Philippines, we also have several species of which Chalcosoma atlas LINNAEUS 1758 is a prime example. Xylotrupes gideon philippinensis ENDROEDI 1957, Theodosia rodriguezi NAGAI 1980 (right) and several species of Onthophagus are just a few other species. And of course, stag beetles, family Lucanidae, are one of the most spectacular.
Note: Thanx to Armand Frasco for sending me the link. Top photo from NY Times website is Onthophagus (Proagoderus) rangifer.
Thanx to my friend Jean Louis Boudant, who I have the pleasure of meeting last month, a female Schmidtiana species was made available to me. It came from Panay Island and I was excited that this might be a new species. However, upon checking my literature, Vives and Niisato described in 2004 S. boudanti. In their paper, the said species occurs in both Negros and Panay. No specific localities were indicated, however.
The genus Schmidtiana consists of six species from various islands representing five of the seven faunal regions in the Philippines. The Luzon region has two species with one occuring in Marinduque: S. sasajii NIISATO 2007 and S. ilocana SCHULTZE 1920 (first described as Pachyteria ilocana) from Luzon. S. gertrudis HUDEPOHL 1983 represents Mindanao; S. palawana SCHULTZE 1922 for Palawan and S. legrandi HUET & MORATI 2003 for Leyte and Samar. No Schmidtiana species have yet been found for the Sulu and Mindoro faunal regions.
Is this S. boudanti? Most likely. Eduard gave me one last year that was collected in Panay, a female, and its just similar to it.