Chin’s Nature Corner

Male net-winged beetle
This could be a lycid beetle, the male of the trilobite larva. I photographed it during
a trek to Gunung Trusmadi in Sabah in March 1990. Copyright © Chin Fah Shin

Another beetle with red wings
This beetle was photographed in the Gombak area in Selangor in the early 1980s when
I first took up nature close-up photography. Copyright © Chin Fah Shin

Are these the elusive males of the Trilobite Larva?
I PHOTOGRAPHED the insect above, top, during a trek to Gunung Trusmadi in Sabah in March 1990. It is possibly a male net-winged beetle (Family Lycidae), although I have to admit that I cannot positively identify it. The "feathery" antennae are distinctive, and I have seen pictures of mounted specimens of male lycid beetles with this type of antennae. I have also seen a picture of a male lycid beetle, another mounted specimen, with this two-tone colour pattern on the wings.
 Alvin Wong Tze Chin's article, "Trilobite larvae ~ a new understanding" (Nature Malaysiana, Vol.20 No.1, March 1995), is profusely illustrated with photos
of living specimens of the female trilobite larvae of various species. Along with his article, there are three photos of mounted specimens of the males of three species, the Duliticola paradoxa described from Sarawak by E. Mjöberg in 1925, a newly discovered species (not named) from Ranong in Thailand, and a species collected from the Gombak area, outside Kuala Lumpur.
 In fact, in the Gombak area in the early 1980s, I photographed an insect (see picture below) which I now believe to be a male lycid beetle. I have also seen a female trilobite larva on Gunung Bunga Buah, Selangor, but was unable to photo-
graph it. Those that I have photographed were about 1cm in length, much bigger than the 1/5-inch beetle that Mjöberg eventually discovered after nearly two years in Sarawak as described in his book Forest Life and Adventures in the Malay Archipelago.
 I believe that few people have seen a male lycid beetle. Those who have seen one would not possibly have linked it to the trilobite larva, unless they are entomologists with a special interest in these insects. If you are one such entomologist, or if you can positively identify these two specimens somehow, please let me know. Muchos gracias.
This page revised on 26 June 2018. Copyright © Chin Fah Shin.