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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Identification Help - Alleged "Japanese Ant"


Japanese Ant 1
Japanese Ant 1  

Japanese Ant 2
Japanese Ant 2  
Hello and good afternoon!

I'm from Indonesia and I need a help identifying an alleged "japanese ant" (it's written in in Indonesian as "Semut Jepang"), as posted on this thread:
For convenience, I will also attach one of the image.

I'm not an expert in biology (although I have a bachelor in Biotechnology), but I am pretty sure that is a beetle.

The huge problem is this: my father is very convinced that these are "young ants", although I tried to explain that all young ants are larvae. He intended to raise the bug and consume them due to an allegation that these bug can reduce cholesterol level, stabilize sugar blood level, uric acid, blood pressure, and even cure heart disease.

So, before my father end up in ER, I need a confirmation about this bug.

Thank you in advance!

Dear Perseonn - These are indeed beetles, they are in the family Tenebrionidae darkling beetles. This is a very large and diverse family with thousands of species, I hesitate to attempt a specific identification as I am not an expert in this particular group. That aside, they do look like some members of the genus Tribolium - see for an example.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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