Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I found a bug!

Long-horned beetle, Xestoleptura crassipes (see update below), native.

My daughter found this beetle in the bathroom. Her first pet, at least that was her plan. It's a native cerambycid (long-horned beetle) with a cool name, Leptura obliterata. It's a boring beetle whose larva feeds on dying or stressed, often fire-damaged conifers. As a native species, it most likely doesn't feed on healthy trees (see this source).

It's those interesting beetles from afar that cause so much damage.

Sadly, after some encouragement, my daughter let the beetle go. Last night at bedtime she asked me what I thought he was doing now.
Update: Ted at Beetles in the Bush has identified the beetle as Xestoleptura crassipes. (See his comment below.) Thanks, Ted!

8 comments:

chey said...

That's so sweet. Children bond to all kinds of pets:).

Laurie Fischer said...

Out of the mouths of babes..."What do you think he is doing now." Love that!

Laura said...

Nothing stops their imagination! Thats great to have an interest in nature so early in life.

Wren said...

oh, gosh, I am so identifying with your daughter.

Way to go, both of you.

swamp4me said...

Bravo, both of you! It is great to see that your daughter has respect and compassion for other animals -- maybe she can pass that idea along to her friends, too. She'll be much happier knowing it's out there doing beetley things rather than ending up six feet to the sky in a jar ;)

Amy said...

At least she can take some solace in the fact that it appears he is doing some sort of beetle salute (or maybe a wave goodbye?) in the picture. No doubt he was thankful for his return to freedom!

Beetles In The Bush said...

Just wanted to let you know a correction to the species - it is Xestoleptura crassipes, related to Leptura but distinguished by a shorter, more blunt form (compare with this photo).

Regards -- Ted

Hugh said...

Ted,

Thanks for the id.