Sunday, June 21, 2009

Megasoma elaphas

Here's a picture of a large male elephant beetle, Megasoma elaphas, that I collected a couple of years ago in Honduras. It was quite the memorable experience. We were below Pico Bonito just a few miles north of La Ceiba (in August) collecting at night with a small blacklight hooked up to our rental car. We had parked in an area where the forest comes up to the road and had been seeing a few scarabs and moths attracted to the light. Maybe an hour after it was dark, we heard a droning buzz not far away and made a few light remarks about how we wished it might be Megasoma. Then the sound went away and a giant tropical cockroach (Blaberus giganteus) flew onto the sheet. We were impressed by the size of the creature and attempted several times to throw it back ino the forest. Each time we did, it just flew back to the light. The picture is of the impressive roach on our rental vehicle's tire.

Then some minutes later my friend happened to shine his flashlight on the ground between the feet of my son. Amid his excitement he managed to persuade us not to move an inch. There in the dirt was a magnificant male elephant beetle. The picture is of the beetle in my friends hand minutes later. One doesn't always get so lucky. It's a thrill when it happens. It is one magnificant creature.

No comments: