Evolution and Systematics
Newly developed harlequin beetles escape the trees where they are born by chewing through the wood with large, strong mandibles.
"This massive pair of mandibles belongs to a South American harlequin beetle, and is probably used only once in its life. The harlequin beetle larva lives inside a tree, where it feeds on the wood. Here it pupates, and when the beetle emerges, it has to chew its way to freedom." (Foy and Oxford Scientific Films 1982:161)
Learn more about this functional adaptation.
- Foy, Sally; Oxford Scientific Films. 1982. The Grand Design: Form and Colour in Animals. Lingfield, Surrey, U.K.: BLA Publishing Limited for J.M.Dent & Sons Ltd, Aldine House, London. 238 p.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Acrocinus longimanus
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
The harlequin beetle (Acrocinus longimanus) is a large tropical longhorned beetle native to the Americas, especially from southern Mexico to Brazil in South America. The harlequin beetle feeds on sap and is given this name because of its elaborate pattern of black, red and greenish yellow markings on the wing covers of both sexes. The species name longimanus is a Latin word that makes reference to the extremely long forelegs (manus) of the males, which are usually longer than the beetle’s entire body. Adult Acrocinus longimanus are very large insects with bodies that can measure nearly 76 mm (3 inches) in length. It also famous for carrying Pseudoscorpions.
- Henderson, Carrol L.; Janzen, Daniel H. (2010). Butterflies, Moths, and Other Invertebrates of Costa Rica: A Field Guide. University of Texas Press. p. 130. ISBN 0-292-71966-3. Retrieved 24 Jan 2011.
- Evans, Arthur V.; Bellamy, Charles L. (2000). An inordinate fondness for beetles. University of California Press. p. 130. ISBN 0-520-22323-3. Retrieved 24 Jan 2011.
- "Harlequin beetle." Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Accessed 24 Jan 2011. Retrieved from: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/708166/harlequin-beetle
Further reading 
- David W. Zeh, Jeanne A. Zeh und Melvin M. Bonilla: Phylogeography of the giant harlequin beetle (Acrocinus longimanus). Journal of Biogeography, 30, 747-753, Oxford 2003 ISSN 0305-0270
- David W. Zeh, Jeanne A. Zeh und Gerard Tavakilian: Sexual Selection and Sexual Dimorphism in the Harlequin Beetle Acrocinus longimanus. Biotropica, 24(1): 86-96, Oxford 1992 ISSN 0006-3606