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Old 01-22-2011, 10:08 PM
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whitefeather whitefeather is offline
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Default Strange beetle: Invasive or Indiginous?

Last October, I found a large, most unusual beetle under a large cardboard box I had set over my generator to keep the falling leaves out at night. Outside temperature at my Smokemont campground site (20) that morning was about 34 degrees. Of course Mr. Beetle wasn't moving.

The first thing I noticed about it was the long spine protruding upward from the very tip of its lower abdomen, like a large, slightly curved stinger. The spine had no joints in it. The beetle was about an inch long, with pale orange wing cases marked by a couple of mottled black bands. Long antennae nearly the length of its body. The usual beetle head gear.

I have looked high and low at hundreds of beetle photos at several different university etymology websites and everything at the GSMNP website, but have yet to find a picture depicting this critter. I'm hoping it's native. Can anyone help me identify it?

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Old 01-22-2011, 10:44 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Whitefeather--I'm certainly not a trained entomologist; just an interested amateur naturalist who has always been intensely curious about creatures great and small. Your description suggests some type of rhinocerous beetle (and there are scores of them), and I'm pretty sure some of them have some orange coloration. Try googling rhinocerous beetle and at least the images will tell you if you are on the right track.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:28 PM
Heavynets Heavynets is offline
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Was it a female broad-neck root borer? see link

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Entomolog...arge-black.htm
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Old 01-23-2011, 04:25 PM
Knothead Knothead is offline
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A rhinocerous beetle has horns on the head. Never seen anything as described. Take it to the park office and let them look at it.
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:23 PM
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whitefeather whitefeather is offline
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Heavynets,

Very, very close!.. The one I observed was a little slimmer and not so football shaped, more torpedo shaped. The pale orange wing cases went all the way back to the tip of the abdomen where the "stinger" was and the "stinger" was pointing straight up from the top plane of the abdomen. My first thought was "that bug would be a nasty thing to step on with bare feet." The beetle was in chill down mode because of outside temp., so the "stinger" could have been in the upright position for that reason. It was more slender than the one at the link.

But the one at the link you provided has at least given me a place to start looking.

Thanks for your help!

Whitefeather
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:36 PM
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whitefeather whitefeather is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knothead View Post
A rhinocerous beetle has horns on the head. Never seen anything as described. Take it to the park office and let them look at it.
Knothead,

I considered that! But, I turned it loose after I examined it. Not knowing whether or not it was indigenous, I didn't want to get "busted" for illegal possession of a native insect species.

Whitefeather
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:44 PM
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whitefeather whitefeather is offline
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Not a Rhino Beetle. No front "tusk" on the one I saw, smaller head, longer body.

Maybe it came from out of state, Georgia, FLorida, Louisiana, some place with swamps, hitching a ride in someone's camper or RV.

I'll keep looking.

Whitefeather
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:16 PM
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GrouseMan77 GrouseMan77 is offline
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Hurry up and post a picture of that bug! I'm having a little trouble trying to tie it by description alone.
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:25 PM
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I'll have to make a sketch of it, as I didn't think to get the wife's camera and take a picture of it. It could be a type of broad-neck root borer, since we were camped on the edge of a heavily populated oak forest. Or not!

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