Can You Guess the Giant Beetle Species?
One of the reasons I love working for National Wildlife Federation is that it's pretty much a daily occurrence that one of my colleagues sends around an email with a cool animal photo. Today, someone sent a photo showing an odd insect. It's odd because it's a rarely seen species, and also, sadly, because it was photographed after being crushed in the parking lot by an unkown killer.
WIth that in mind, I'm featuring the photo here as this week's "What Is It? Wednesday" post to see who can figure out what species it is.
Even though the insect is crushed, it's not so badly crushed that it should hinder your attempts to try to identify it. (I suppose identifing crushed insects counts as an odd activity in and of itself.)
Here are some additional bits of info and hints that will help with identification:
- The insect is a type of beetle.
- The photo was taken in Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC and the beetle is native to eastern forests.
- It's big, measuring just under three inches long; The species is purportedly the heaviest beetle species in North America.
- Its name contains a reference to Greek mythology.
Submit your guesses in the comments section here, and the first person to correctly identify it by common name (scientific name will earn you extra credit) will get a signed copy of my book Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife.
UPDATE: WE HAVE A WINNER. READ THE COMMENTS TO FIND OUT WHO AND THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION.
Here's the photo: