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Net-Winged Beetle



Net-winged beetle, (family Lycidae), any of some 2,800 species of soft-bodied, brightly coloured, predominately tropical beetles (insect order Coleoptera) whose wing covers, or elytra, are broader at the tip than at the base and are characterized by a raised network of lines, or veins. The adults feed either on plant juices or on other insects and can easily be seen as they fly slowly between plants or crawl on flowers. The bold colouring of orange and black or blue probably warns predators of their acidic, burning taste. Larvae feed on wet rotting wood and are often found in high numbers.


Habitat for many groups, typically woodlands, Many are unpalatable to predators due to ingesting toxic chemicals. They present aposematic colors that advertise their toxicity.(Chemoecology. Defensive Chemistry of Lycid Beetles and of Mimetic Cerambycid Beetles that Feed on Them).


Interestingly, the net-wing beetles are attacked by another type of beetle, a cerambycid that mimics the color of the net-winged beetle. The cerambycids can consume the net winged beetles toxins and process them safely. The cerambycids sequester the net-winged beetle toxins and use them for their own protection. The pair of net-winged beetles in the photo were busy mating. Note that the male is much smaller than the female. Mature insect eggs are relatively large compared to body size of insects, so the female must be large enough to accommodate them. The male can be smaller because sperm are much smaller than eggs. I don’t know of any correlation between mating system and size disparity. Insects have evolved many interesting characters. However, if male territoriality is important, there can be sexual selection for larger males that are more capable of taking and defending territory from other males.

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thaptor 2 years ago

ID wrong - this is a Net-winged beetle, Lycus sp.
(note the head)

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Spotted by

Telangana, India

Spotted on Aug 11, 2018
Submitted on Sep 29, 2018

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