Kirstie, the beetle you were asking about that I photographed in Rio Preta da Eva (June 26th) is a Harlequin Long-Horned Beetle (Acrocinus longimanus, as you’ll probably know). If you follow bugs, as it were, you’ll probably also know that it was selected as “Bug of the Month” by godofinsects.com in June 2006. I quote:
“A fantastic Neotropical longhorn beetle, conspicuous for it’s large size, beautiful colors and the amazing length of the front legs on the male. These elongated limbs (much reduced in the female) are a secondary sex characteristic, used in mating. It should also be noted that it aids them in traversing the tree trunks on which they can be found. Females seek out old trees, such as Ficus, that are infested with bracket fungi. An incision is made in the bark and an egg deposited. Larvae bore into the timber for 7-8 months and then pupate for the remainder of the year, to emerge and start the cycle anew.”
So there you are.