Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Mystery Critter at Fuzhou West Lake

A large number of people seem captivated by China's stock markets these days. I have some thoughts on that topic, but I will instead cover something unrelated (unless you are especially creative in finding analogies) for a change of pace.

During my explorations in China and elsewhere I have come across a large number of creatures I have not seen before, often insects or arthropods, that I can't identify. In part, this is probably due to many relevant resources I find being focused on North American or European creatures. For example, I am still struggling to identify a creature I saw (and ate) in Cambodia two years ago, though I now have a lead to follow up. Fortunately, as with one type of giant centipede in Hong Kong, I sometimes have a much easier time.

So today I will highlight another magnificent creature which has confounded me. If you can convincingly identify the species, you will win a prize of untold proportions. I would tell you the prize, but then the proportions will have been told. Since they are untold, this cannot happen, at least not yet. Please don't get excited about the proportions. Please do get excited about the creature.

Below are two different individuals, I believe of the same species, I saw near the Kaihua Isle in Fuzhou. The length from the end of their body to the tip of their head was roughly equivalent to or slightly smaller than the diameter of a Chinese 1-jiao coin or a U.S. dime. They both ran rather quickly and did not appear to enjoy being photographed, despite me refraining from poking, eating, or criticizing either of them.

I would guess they are some sort of beetle, but I'm looking for something more specific. So, dear readers, what are they?

red insect with six white and two black spots in Fuzhou

red insect with six white and two black spots in Fuzhou

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