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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Strange bug with eyelashes?

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Question
Bug
Bug  
Hello Jessica, my friend found a bug and she described it as being striped like a bee but has some weird eyelashes and i was wondering if you could tell me what kind of bug it is. Thank you for any help!

Answer
Hi Nolan,

The photo is of a male Glowworm Beetle (Phengodidae). The larvae and larviform females (translation: the youngsters and females look like worms) have bioluminescent organs that glow through their skin, but the males look more like your typical beetle and have the feathery "eyelashes" you mentioned. These "eyelashes" are actually antennae that are used to find females. The antennae have chemical receptors for detecting female pheromones. Thanks for the great photo.

Best,
Jessica

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jessica Mellinger

Expertise

I can answer questions about invertebrates native to California, including insects commonly found in homes. If you have an identification request, please attach a photo to your question.

Experience

I was involved in collection and identification of invertebrates for the United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division for six years. Also, I provided these same services intermittently for the UC Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment for many years. I have been a member of AllExperts.com since 2009.

Organizations
Department of the Interior: United States Geological Survey, Davis Field Station; University of California, Davis Aggie Alumni Association; UC Davis Center for Neuroscience; U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs

Education/Credentials
I have two B.A.'s from the University of California, Davis and two Associate's degrees from Sacramento City College.

Awards and Honors
Special Thanks for Achieving Results award from the Department of the Interior

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