paul_scribbles: Cartoon of a small white moth in flight, wearing large spectacles (Default)
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Have been making a very slow start with my vague plan to illustrate some old insect specimens, which is just about sort-of compatible with daily family commitments, so long as there isn't any great hurry, which of course there isn't.  I notice that an apparently ever-growing number of my full-sighted artists friends work with other artists, in studios, if you please.  Oo, come to my STUDIO where we do arty stuff and talk about arty things, ner ner ner...  WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWANK!!!  Call that the life of an artist???  Try measuring beetles' legs with your face pressed against a wobbly table under the tiniest possible energy-saving lightbulb while looking after a family member who needs to be pretty much constantly supervised, with Bargain Hunt bellowing out of the telly and a stack of washing up and laundry to get through and all the toothbrushes in the house missing again.  Studio indeed!  Harrumph!

But I digress.  This is a specimen of a large Lucanid beetle, of a species whose name I do not know.  I somehow acquired this specimen without any accompanying information.  If memory serves, it was one of several sent by way of apology from a dealer who had supplied me with a breeding pair of Dorcus titanus, only for the male to die soon after arrival.  Other specimens came with labels, but not this one.  Am sure it will be possible to put a name to it someday.  I am wondering whether it is a female, as I also have a specimen (bought from Ebay and set in that lucite stuff) of a remarkably similar beetle with large, male "antler" type mandibles.  On the other hand, this could be one of the many Lucanids in which both sexes have small, functional mandibles.  One of the most striking things about this specimen is the asymmetry of the mandibles, with the right one being distinctly shorter and stouter.  Whether this is a trait of the species or just an individual variation, I have no way of knowing at present.       

Date: 2010-06-14 12:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moonvoice.livejournal.com
You know, I wish - just once - they'd start giving common names to bugs or animals that were literally 'some kind of stag beetle' or 'thingie' or 'that one' or 'the blue one.'

That would be an awesome world to live in.

I notice that an apparently ever-growing number of my full-sighted artists friends work with other artists, in studios, if you please.

I don't love working with other artists. Not because of the artists, but because it is my work and I have never had a mindset where I've felt especially comfortable socialising and working at the same time. It feels like my pay should be docked or something. ;)

Nice illustration.

Date: 2010-06-27 03:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kruku.livejournal.com
I can not identifie the specie.

There are some stag beetles from the Transvaal that have a similar head and mandibles. The brown colouring on the body is reminiscent of some stag beetles from Thailand. To be honest if it wasn't for the colouring I'd peg it as from the Transvall or a female of the common stage beetle or one of the new world specie.

Re: Nice illustration.

Date: 2010-06-28 10:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] paul-scribbles.livejournal.com
Thank you!!! Now that you mention it, I'm sure I have another specimen around here somewhere (also unnamed) that is almost identical to this one except all black. Both are pretty big; about 6cm.
I'm currently working up a sketch of yet another nameless specimen (billed only as "Chinese Stag Beetle" by an Ebay seller) which has much the same colouring as this one, and which is also very similar in the shape of the pronotum and some features of the head, although it has large, Lucanus-like mandibles. Possibly male and female of the same species...?

Re: Nice illustration.

Date: 2010-06-29 06:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kruku.livejournal.com
Not really an entomologist. You really are going to to need the help of someone who loves researching this stuff. I'd suggest go cap in hand to a bug fan site or even hit on an entomologist's blog.

Good luck.

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