Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Rescued Trilobite Beetle

While walking on my usual route, I avoided stepping on what looked like a flatten insect or scorpion that had been squashed under some one's foot. However, curiosity told me to take a closer look as it seemed to have a strange looking skeletal structure much like a Horseshoe Crab turned upside down. The strange looking thing wasn't dead but very much alive. Upon picking it up, I realized that it was some unknown insect that I've not seen before.

My guess was some kind of leaf insect but it turn out that to be an ancient species of beetle that lives in tropical rain forest.

The trilobite beetle lives on rotting wood. These beetles are threatened by degradation of forest habitat, and in some places, also over-collection by collectors.
Trilobites literally have three lobes and one each are a pair of legs. The specimen that I plucked off the walking path is now safely back in an area that is not near a walking route. Follow the Flickr link to see more photos of the Trilobite Beetle.


Shawn said...

What an awesome insect! This is one of the beetles that stay its whole life as its larval stage right?

Thank God you saw it before nearly stepping on it. That saved an endangered life.

Shirls said...

Yes, the female stays in the larval stage. This rescue was my sliverlining on a rather tough week.

Ivan said...

Wow! What an encounter. Kudos for placing it somewhere safe. Some people would probably have either fled in terror, smashed it, or taken it home.

Shirls said...

Hi Ivan,

Not me. Curiosity will get the better of me. Just thrilled to bits having saved it.

Edward M said...