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Please help identify this insect - genus, species and anything interesting about it. Also - please outline your general methodology for identifying such insects

Note, this is posted separately due to comments in this other thread.

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closed as unclear what you're asking by fileunderwater, canadianer, AliceD Aug 5 '17 at 14:18

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Okay, to identify to Order level you can use the key here (although it's actually not as user-friendly as I'd expect; I might suggest they revise it). The key characteristic is that the forewings are uniformly hardened. So, starting at question 1:

  • "Insect has wings" - yes; go to 2.
  • "Two pairs of wings" - yes (wing cases/elytra are the first pair); go to 7.
  • "Fore wings hard or leathery" - yes; go to 8.
  • "Fore wings of uniform texture throughout" - yes; go to 9.
  • "Fore wings (elytra) hard and veinless, meeting in centre line" - yes; go to 10.
  • "Abdomen without forceps: elytra commonly cover whole abdomen = Coleoptera [beetles]".

So we know it's a beetle.

There's a key to beetle families here. Starting at question 1:

  • antennae are "clubbed or thickened" so go to 5.
  • "Elytra covering all of abdomen" yes, go to 7.
  • "Head not stretched forward into a beak" - go to 9.
  • "the last few segments [of the antennae] clearly wider than the rest" - no, so go to 24.
  • the elytra (wing cases aren't "soft (easily bent, folded or even rolled up)" so go to 28.
  • this is a tricky one, but basically you can (just) see that all the tarsi (feet) have the same number of segments, so we go to 29.
  • 29: " Beetle usually elongate and parallel-sided; antennae very long often longer than head and body; most antennal segments very elongate (at lease twice as long as wide)" - sounds like our beetle, so that makes it a longhorn beetle. (Some of the other criteria - eye nothces etc - only apply to some species, but this key is a UK-specific one).

So we have a longhorn beetle (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). In theory you shouldn't need to geographical location to get this to species level as it could be an introduced species etc; in practice most keys are specific to certain geographical regions so you might need to provide the collection location to get it to species level. You could start by Googling "longhorn beetle identification key" and give it a go though.

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  • $\begingroup$ Well done, nice research made... +1 $\endgroup$ – The_Mad_Fish Jul 31 '17 at 12:07
  • $\begingroup$ From overall appearance, it also looks like an Lamiinae (flat-faced longhorns). $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Aug 1 '17 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ @fileunderwater overall appearance? $\endgroup$ – ina Aug 4 '17 at 9:41
  • $\begingroup$ would this fit the bill of Asian longhorn beetle? $\endgroup$ – ina Aug 4 '17 at 9:41
  • $\begingroup$ @ina Flat vertical face, robust, reniform eyes etc. Still thousands of species to choose from though. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Aug 4 '17 at 14:26

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