Hi I just joined this forum today.. I captured this insect on my terrace and I searched about it. I believe it's called a Callipogon sericium. I may be completely wrong. It's brownish with orange spots. I'm no entomologist but you guys may be. So please tell me if it's a rare beetle or if you've ever seen one before. I could not find pictures of this identical one on the internet, hence the idea of sharing it. Also I would want to sell it, if anyone is interested.
Last Edit: Jun 23, 2019 7:10:06 GMT -8 by Adam Cotton: edited subject line
First question - where are you located? Your suspicion of Callipogon sericeum leads me to believe you may be in the Caribbean.
Your beetle is not Callipogon, but rather a species of Batocera. Now the dilemma - Batocera occurs primarily in Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Australia and the Philippines with a couple of species in Africa. However, one species, Batocera rufomaculata, has been introduced into Puerto Rico and is established there.
Once you provide a locality, I might be able to give you a better ID...
Last Edit: Jun 22, 2019 16:24:35 GMT -8 by bandrow
Thank you, I am located in Islamabad, Pakistan. And this, indeed is a Batocera rufomaculata, it matches exactly with the pictures on the internet. Would you also happen to know whether this beetle is rare or not? And is it safe to touch? I also have no idea how to keep it alive, what to feed it. In fact, I do not know what to do with it.
Post by Adam Cotton on Jun 23, 2019 7:14:46 GMT -8
I am not a beetle expert at all, but a late friend of mine used jelly to feed Lucanids, maybe your Batocera will eat that, otherwise perhaps you could try sugar cane. I just did a quick search, and it seems Batocera rufomaculata larvae are stem borers inside mango trees. Perhaps the adult beetle will eat the fruit. It is certainly worth a try.
That's rather easy. There's an abundance of mangoes here, I can feed it for life. Also, we have a mango tree in our house, would it be sensible to think it came from there? And if what you said is true, I could expect more of these beetles near the tree. But the thing is, we moved here about 8 years ago and in all that time it's the first time I'm encountering this creature. Anyway I'll feed it mango pulp.
All good advice from Adam and I would suggest the same - let us know how the beetle responds to the mango pulp. Also, most cerambycids are fairly short-lived as adults, so I wouldn't expect it to live too long, but you can certainly let it live as a king (appears to be a male from the antennal length) as long as it can!
I believe that only Batocera rufomaculata and B. rubus could occur in your area. From the image, I would say it is rufomaculata. It is not a rare species, and is one of the more widespread species of Batocera, occurring from the Middle East to SE Asia, eastern Africa and Madagascar and has been introduced into several countries in the Caribbean.
Adam - do you have any personal experience with collecting Batocera? I assume they come to lights, but is that the most common way they are taken?
I tried a few types of foods for it. I gave it a very small amount of mango pulp (about the size of a half pea) but I did not find any evidence of it eating it. So then I took a green stem from the mango tree (about the diameter of a pencil) and sliced it half lengthwise and collected the white (partly soft) solid inside the stem. I put that too in the container, but it did not eat. I then peeled the green outermost surface of the same stem, sliced it into a small 1cm by 1mm piece ( approx.) and put it in the container, still no luck. I did some looking and at one place I found that females are given sugary water in captivity. I took water and boiled it, put sugar in it and let it cool. And put it in the container with a syringe. The beetle drank it. But not much.
Apart from this feeding regime, I made another observation. So I may be wrong but I believe I observed it's poop. The best way to describe it is like the shape of the feet of the beetle. At the end, there's a sort of a "hook", behind the hook there's what seems to me like "joints" of some sort and behind those joints, there's the long leg. Now imaging that part between the "hook" and the "leg" that's what I saw in the container. Lots of it. Another way to describe it is imagine what you would get if you chopped its tentacles about 1mm in length. The "poop" was dense brown and appeared completely black under low light. I did not, however, see it "during the act".
I also noticed times of extreme movement and times of complete rest. It would be desperately moving all around the container going crazy and at times it would be staying still. Even on moving the container upside down, it would act as if it were dead.
Anyway, the bad news is, (no, it's not dead) my mother, she has very strong, should you say, moral values and love for animals and apparently all living things, she made me release the beetle. It's no longer in captivity and I do not know where it is. However I can describe the time of its release. From the terrace, I opened the container upside down. The beetle fell 6 feet down ( I do not know whether it opened its wings during the fall), it landed exactly under where it was released. I noticed a complete 360 degree movement of its tentacles. It's almost as if it was checking whether they still rotate in all directions. The direction was random, sometimes clockwise, sometimes anti clockwise. It won't on for about ten seconds. Then it walked around a little, climbing a tiny rock, then for a brief pause, it opened its wing covers and flew straight up to the sky. It flew right past my face to which I instincyly jumped away, losing sight of it. And that's the end of my beetle observations.
I don't specifically remember catching Batocera. Back in the late 1980s I did a lot of light trapping while studying Sphingidae of Thailand but I don't specifically remember seeing them come to light, although it could have happened very occasionally. Being a butterfly person I have never actually tried to collect beetles myself. Sorry I can't give you any advice. Sadly the one person here I know who would have been able to answer this question is no longer with us.
Thank you for giving us the details of your feeding attempts and the happy ending to the story! I'm sure the beetle found its way to whatever it was driven to accomplish - maybe find a mate and make more beetles.
Adam - thanks too for the info. I just assumed they must come to lights, but maybe not so much. There are several very common species in Thailand and I would think that you'd have seen plenty if light trapping extensively. Of course, they could be one of the genera like Titanus that seem to prefer very large lights elevated high in the air.
Some of the genera here in the U.S. that are related (distantly) to Batocera do not come to lights. In particular, Plectrodera scalator is found diurnally on its host plants, and the introduced Anoplophora glabripennis behaves in the same way.
Last Edit: Jun 24, 2019 17:39:31 GMT -8 by bandrow
I collected my self only one specimen of Batocera sp. in Thailand ( can not verify which particular species as I am on collecting trip in Rocky Mountains now), but it was collected during the day. I don’t think I saw one coming to the lights as I would most likely kept it.
I’ve collected 3 species of Batocera from lights in south west China but they were not plentiful. I would get one about every 2 weeks of continuous light trapping. It was interesting as I set up my light sheet in my apartment porch on the 6th floor and the Batocera must have had a distance to fly.
I caught Batocera numitor ssp. ferruginea and Anoplophora versteegi at the light in Laos. A lot of Lamiinae going to the light. Also Batocera rubus, but B. rubus were caught to the net with telescope (sweeping the canopy of the trees) during the day,...