An onion-eating beetle

I never saw this beetle alive. onion bug - from above 21-8-13We fished it dead out of the swimming pool in August and I put it aside to dry and forgot about him. I recently discovered it a corner of the sótano, the basement beneath the swimming pool. I asked Pablo if he recognized it. After much pursing of the lips, he said what sounded like “gallo cebollaro”. Taking into consideration his Andaluz pronunciation, plus a little dictionary research, I now think he said escarabajo cebollaro. Which would make it an onion [and garlic] eating beetle. onion bug - upside down 21-8-13As with all my insect queries, I posted a discussion thread on the Natural History Museum’s NaturePlus identification forum. Someone kindly suggested it is a large longhorn beetle, Ergates Faber. The length sounds about right, Ergates Faber grows to 30-60mm and mine is almost 50mm. onion bug with ruler 21-8-13A quick search on Google took me to the Forest Images website, a joint venture between the USDA Forest Service and various American forestry bodies. This photo confirmed it [below].

[photo: forestryimages.org]

[photo: forestryimages.org]

To see the discussion at the Natural History Museum’s NaturePlus, click here:-
http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/message/39496#39496

For more information about Ergates Faber at the Forestry Images website, USDA Forest Service, click here:-
http://www.forestryimages.org/browse/subinfo.cfm?sub=10175

I’m not sure about its diet though, I’d prefer it if it didn’t eat our onions.

5 to remember
una cebolla – an onion
un escarabajo – a beetle
vivo – alive
bajo/baja – beneath
la pronunciación – pronunciation

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