Weird beetle larva

Larva of the Net-winged beetle, Caenia dimidiata (Fabricius, 1801)

This is the larva of Caenia dimidiata, a Net-winged beetle of the family Lycidae. The top image shows the dorsum (back) of the beetle, and the bottom is the venter (underside). The adult beetle has a striking orange and black appearance. Many lycid beetles produce noxious lycidic acid or pyrazine and they warn potential predator of their toxicity through conspicuous coloration (Eisner, 2005). The strange protuberances on either side of its body segments are composed of cuticle and serve an unknown role. The beetle’s head is bizarre and possesses stubby antennae and reduced mouthparts.

  • A high-res version of the beetle image is linked here (9.2 MB).
  • Eisner, T. (2005). For love of insects. Harvard University Press.
  • Thanks to D. Hennen for collecting it, and J. Cicero for identifying the species.
  • There are no images of C. dimidiata larvae online, so feel free to use this one anyway you see fit since it’s in the public domain (CC0)
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