A buggy tale

We usually go for a walk after lunch – me and my friends at work. While we were on a walk, we saw a metallic green bug lying on the ground. My friend noticed it and brought it to our notice. Its body looked very much metallic and it was dead, thankfully. Our first impression was that it was a spy robot or something, sent by a rival company to spy on ours πŸ˜› I know it sounds too sci-fish but I was convinced that it was a robot and so were my friends. The problem was we had never seen an insect like that before in our life and everyone being a geek, this was the obvious assumption to make. Then we brought it inside the office premises (so that it can spy properly? No) to investigate further. Another friend did some research on it and finally found details of a bug which looked similar to this one – called Green June Beetle.

Read more about green june beetle here : http://entoplp.okstate.edu/ddd/insects/greenjunebeetle.htm

figbee_small

But this one looked little different from it, its legs were metallic too. When we tried pricking it with push pins, body was pretty hard, as if it was made of a real metal. One of my friends assumed that it was an alien. He was even planning to call National Geographic and report an alien organism found on Earth πŸ˜› So much for imagination!

Finally we decided to dissect its body just to figure out if it was indeed a real insect. Once we separated its wings, we realized that it was not a spy robot but a real bug. Probably it belonged to the green june beetle family, but was little different from it. It also looked like someone had chopped its legs and head or maybe ants or some other insects had eaten away all the soft tissues in its body. Only the shell was left.

small_bug1
small_bug2

Googling about green beetles and bugs did not get us to this insect. Later when I showed the pics of the insect to my mom, my parents instantly recognized it but did not know its name. Such is our situation.. living in a high-tech society does not give you opportunities to get close to the nature. Neither have I seen many birds in my life, nor have I seen many bugs in my life. And I also attribute it to the fact that I hated biology so much that I never studied zoology or botany in my life after high school.

Can anyone identify this insect? Can you name this bug/beetle for me?

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60 thoughts on “A buggy tale

  1. Poor, poor thing! I can’t believe you guys decided to dissect it πŸ˜€ Would you have even gone near had it been alive? πŸ˜›

    Anyway, i have an entemologist friend, who may be able to identify it πŸ˜‰ Let’s see! I sent this page link to her πŸ˜€

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  2. πŸ˜† I am still giggling at all the possibilities you guys came up with regarding who the little green fella was πŸ˜†
    and you all even dissected the poor little thing out of plain curiosity 😯
    I have no clue on what this bug could be, but I’m with Hemal…congrats dear on discovering a new bug πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

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  3. That one is “Dead-nettle leaf beetle”. The metallic green is a mimic of this one acts as a camouflauge hiding in leaves to escape from predators, hunt small ants and to attract the mates. This beetle lays more than a 1000 eggs and each larve grows into a beetle with different colors. You can even see metallic red, blue, even with multiple colors and patterns.
    There are more number of insect species than the all the animals combined. If you are intrested in insects, then check out a BBC documentry called “Life in the Undergrowth” by David Attenborough(He is my role-model!). Recently, a blu-ray version has been released. Attenborough’s 12 big documentries should not be missed.
    If this one is an alien, google the below animals.
    1. Bombardier beetle.
    2. Glow worms
    3. Pistol shrimp
    4. Rhinoceros Beetle
    5. Longhorn beetle

    This list can be endless.

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    • Wow Prasad.. you have a lot of info on insects.. the one you mentioned does look like this.. but noticed one more thing? the one I found has a split in the front portion of the body.. none of the other insects in that category have that split.. I wonder what this insect is! And thanks for all those weird insects.. I had never heard about them.. checked their pics on net.. really weird looking!! πŸ™‚ I will get hold of that DVD too!

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  4. Thats not an insect in the first place. I can explain.

    Thats was the Green Goblin in disguise. and its not you who he was looking for ! he was trying to find traces to reach me. We had a duel that afternoon and I killed him. Any more questions?

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  5. πŸ™‚

    It was nice to see that your investigation regarding the origin of the so-called alien eventually got going in the right direction. πŸ˜€

    As Prasad very informatively pointed out, this one looks very much like the Dead-nettle Leaf Beetle (Chrysolina fastuosa). The only point against this would be the shape of the wings which are very rounded (almost forming an arc) in case of the ‘Dead-nettle Leaf Beetle’.

    Another possibility of it’s identity could be the Green Dock Beetle (Gastrophysa viridula) which is almost identical but with slightly narrower ending wings. But the point against this would be that it’s not commonly seen in South India.

    So, maybe you have actually discovered a yet unknown (or un-named) species ! πŸ˜€

    Prasad has already provided some other interesting info about insects in general and these beetles in particular in his comment above. Entomology is really interesting !

    Too bad the poor thing had to camouflage as a spy robot/alien to gain entry into your company… πŸ˜› πŸ˜€

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    • It could be a new species. may be a Dead-plastic Leaf Beetle. The original apperance has been changed for a lot of insects because they evolved in forests to get these form, but today they have to adapt themselves to the pollution and the signal traffic(e.g. mobiles) and the hybrid plants.
      The bright metallic green is due to the sulphur in the air, which has contaminated into their body. Insects have a big role for the balance of life. If Avada kills an insect daily, our world might be in danger πŸ˜‰ We are changing the world too much!
      Good to see a guy interested in Entomology after a long time. πŸ™‚

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    • Yeah it does look little different from the ones you and Prasad mentioned.. Another difference is if you notice, this one has a split in the front portion of its body, which others dont have… probably it is a new species or some species which people havent documented well.. I am now planning to get a book on insects and try to see if I can find this one… Will be soon off to library for more research πŸ™‚
      Good to see even you have so much of interest in entymology Shobhit πŸ™‚ That was very informative.. thanks πŸ™‚

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      • Yes… πŸ™‚

        I know you wouldn’t have gone any closer if it were alive, let alone harm it in any manner. πŸ™‚

        Actually, the split right in the middle of its thoracic plate (or which you call the front portion) was what I noticed as conspicuous right at first. Since none of the other bugs I know have such a split. But that could have been due to the auto degradation of its body if it had been dead for long. (Was its body like, very brittle when you touched it ?) The reason being the two halves of the thoracic plate are embryologically joined in the midline. So its probable that they separated hence.

        And I can’t help but have interest in Entomology too as I did my Masters in Zoology. So I happen to have more than just mere aquaintance with a variety of members of the Animal Kingdom… πŸ˜› πŸ˜€

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      • Oh masters in zoology.. cool doc πŸ™‚ “thoracic plate” looks like what you said holds good because none of the beetles have that split.. thanks a lot for the info Shobhit… studying animals is indeed very interesting πŸ™‚
        the body dint look brittle, it was pretty hard when we found it.. but when we pricked with pins, it looked little soft.. it must have been dead for long.. some insect might have eaten its head and legs and other soft organs, since we dont see any of those on its body..

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  6. Really wonderful…
    I mean, people taking time out to observe the creatures…. If only many more of us spend more time just watching the movements of nature that we discover not just the magnificence of nature, but ourselves too!

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  7. ROFL AK πŸ˜†

    too much for an insect πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ It looks like metal, alright.. but an alien 😯 πŸ™„

    anyway thanks for the picture.. I won’t misinterpret if I see one πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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  8. I haven’t seen it before. I used to see all weird insects, bugs, worms, birds etc when I was a kid and we had a huge garden. It wasnt well maintained by us so it attracted lots of wild life. But now i live in an apartment and I feel like i have been cut off from the nature.

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    • yeah even when I was small, I used to spend sometime taking care of plants and in gardening.. but not anymore.. the busy schedule doesnt allow any time for such hobbies.. Even I feel really cut off from nature 😦

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  9. Alien? Haha..

    Spy..ROFL..

    Too much of telivision and movies..isnt it? Well. I am sure my thoughts would be the same.

    My dad always says, the enjoyment you guys have with these ipods, laptops, internet is nothing compared to how we have enjoyed. So true. πŸ™‚

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