DixPix Photographs

     

INDONESIAN ARCHIPELAGO

 
     
  BEETLES AND BUGS  

 

Some 40% of all insects described so far are Beetles, and their order, Coleoptera, is the largest in the animal kingdom.  There may well be a million species lurking out there, although only about a third that number have been named to date.  They are everywhere, but only a few species have been sufficiently unusual or striking to attract the camera's attention. 

The term 'bugs' tends to be applied to any insect and even other things such as spiders.  There is, however, an order of insects, the Hemiptera, which are known as the 'True Bugs'.  This definition is not closely followed here, but a few beasties such as cockroaches, leaf hoppers and assassin bugs have been included.

 

The Rhinoceros Beetles are common in the forests of southeast Asia and elsewhere. They belong to the Chalcosoma and Orcytes genera and are the heavy-weights of the beetle world. Click to see big picture (616x480 pixels; 71 KB)
Chalcosoma atlas is the true Atlas Beetle, although other species of this genera also tend to be called by that name.  It is mainly an Indonesian species, but also found elsewhere in adjacent countries. Click to see big picture (640x377 pixels; 55 KB)
Chalcosoma moellenkampi typically has a lower horn longer than the upper pair.  It seems restricted to western Indonesia, here on Sumatra.  Although the name Three-horned Rhinoceros Beetle is sometimes applied, that is descriptive of any of its genus which are widely referred to as Atlas or Rhinoceros Beetles.
The horns are an adornment of the male beetles, and are used to challenge other males for mates. Click to see big picture (640x395 pixels; 100 KB)
Like most beetles, this tank-like genus has wings under their hard coverings, but I have never seen a Rhinoceros Beetle try to fly. Click to see big picture (640x413 pixels; 88 KB)
This form of Rhinoceros Beetle appears to be Oryctes rhinoceros, the Asiatic Rhinoceros Beetle.  The horn is used mainly to knock rival males out of trees. Click to see big picture (640x407 pixels; 72 KB)
Stag Beetles are another design which is found in many parts of the world.  This Sumatran version may be Cyclommatus canaliculatus of Malaysia and Indonesia, or something quite similar. Click to see big picture (640x379 pixels; 112 KB)
The Violin Beetle, Mormolyce phyllodes, is an oddity which can be found from India to Indonesia.  It is a flat species, typically living in bracket fungi looking for grubs, but also can reside under bark.  If threatened, it can eject a fluid capable of paralyzing a finger. Click to see big picture (554x480 pixels; 104 KB)
This is a large specimen of a Longhorn Beetle, so named for its huge antenna.  Click to see big picture (402x480 pixels; 116 KB)
A closer look at this Sumatran specimen of a Longhorn.  Apparently this is Neocerambyx gigas, reported from Mayasia and Indonesia. Click to see big picture (640x433 pixels; 131 KB)
Two smaller beetles with prominent antenna.  The one on the left has fake eye-spots for protection, and the one on the right has a red head, either advertising of faking being poisonous. Click to see big picture (555x480 pixels; 72 KB)
And when it comes to antenna, this species sports a bar moustache, likely sensitive to odors.  Oxynopterus, perhaps O. harmseni.  This genus is often known as Click Beetles. Click to see big picture (610x480 pixels; 124 KB)
"But you weren't supposed to look under your pillow."  Many beetles in the tropics find human habitation a great place to hang out. Click to see big picture (617x480 pixels; 99 KB)
Behold the Cockroach, true expert at human habitations.  Judging by the head-gear, this is likely of the genus Periplaneta.  Both P. americana and P. australasiae grace Indonesia with their presence. Click to see big picture (640x423 pixels; 74 KB)
A giant armored cockroach?  Actually this is the Wood Cockroach or simply Wood Roach, likely Panesthia sp.  Unlike cockroaches, these live in rotten wood.  At least some species mate for life and raise their young.  Likely this one carries the long name of Panesthia angustipennis angustipennis. Click to see big picture (626x480 pixels; 132 KB)
Although wood roaches are not noted for defenses, some have some very sharp looking probes. Click to see big picture (640x383 pixels; 92 KB)
This fairly large and square insect appears to be an armored leafhopper, one of the 'True Bugs'.  Leafhoppers represent a huge number and variety of species, but no guarantee that this is one of them. Click to see big picture (352x480 pixels; 61 KB)
In their natural habitat of a hibiscus blossom, these are Cotton Stainer Bugs, Dysdercus decussatus, locked in seemingly endless mating position.  They get that odd name as they invade the related cotton flower, staining the cotton indelibly. Click to see big picture (640x456 pixels; 78 KB)
There are some 130 species in the sub-family Triatominae, which are usually known as Assassin Bugs, but also Kissing Bugs.  Most of these species feed on blood. Click to see big picture (477x480 pixels; 86 KB)
Although black would seem a more suitable color for an Assassin Bug, here is fancy species which was sizing me up in central Sumatra. Click to see big picture (633x480 pixels; 85 KB)