Common Name: Harlequin beetle
Scientific Name: Acrocinus longimanus
Image Number: ROM2003_837_3
Collection Date: February 19-22, 2003
A large, Neotropical (Central and South America) beetle, the male Harlequin beetle is easily recognized by its elongate front legs that enable it to easily climb tree trunks upon which it is often found. Stretching out to lengths of 130 mm, the back of the Harlequin beetle is home to a species of tiny arachnid called a pseudoscorpion (a miniature version of a scorpion minus the stinger and tail). Researchers have determined that these pseudoscorpions use the Harlequin beetle as a means of transport to newly fallen trees. The pseudoscorpions, which feed upon wood boring insects such as flies and beetles, attach themselves to the backs of the beetle by silken strands that they secrete from glands in their tiny claws. When the beetle lands on a new tree, the pseudoscorpion sends out another strand of silk and slides off the beetle onto the tree and begins its search for a meal.