I’ve returned

Wow, it’s been a while since my last post hasn’t it? I guess I’ve been keeping myself occupied.

I’m beginning to realize that for a blog titled Myrmecoid, I really haven’t posted any myrmecoid staphylinids. So, I’ve decided to continue this tradition with a termecoid (is this word put together accurately or should it be termicoid?) staphylinid.

Meet Thyreoxenus brevitibialis Seevers.

Thyreoxenus brevitibialis Seevers

This amazing staphylinid belongs to the aleocharine tribe Corotocini. The corotocines are mainly termite guests. Many exhibit extreme morphologies where most of the body is fleshy and blobby, like this Thyreoxenus species. Although this image is in lateral view, when viewed from above, some of these corotocines (including Thyreoxenus brevitibialis) closely resemble termites.

Even Richard Dawkins has acknowledged the awesomeness of corotocines in his book Climbing Mount Improbable by stating that Coatonachthodes ovambolandicus is “one of the most astonishing spectacles in all natural history.” (Factoid courtesy of Wikipedia)

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9 responses to “I’ve returned

  1. Hey Taro,

    Just this past fall, here in Ohio, I collected my first specimens of Megalopinus! Got a good series (12) of M. rufipes and a single specimen of M. caelatus. Both were under oak logs that had been timbered the year before and with numerous fungi species. Very nice species.

    • taroeldredge

      Totally cool!! I’ve always wanted to pick them up but never any luck. They seem to be associated with fungi but no one really seems to know what they specifically require though. A good series too, you must have been at the right place at the right time. Maybe now you know how to collect rufipes? P.S. You will be receiving a late holiday gift this season.

  2. Where is this awesome Corotocini from?

    • taroeldredge

      It’s South American, can’t remember the country off the top of my head. There are two genera and three species recorded from Texas and Arizona. I bet there are more in the US though.

  3. p.s. I vote for “termicoid.”

  4. That’s quite a bizarre beetle! Are the white areas on the abdomen and thorax highly expanded intersegmental membrane? I take it that white vertical structure is a vestigial elytron? Impressive.

    This is cool stuff – welcome to my blogroll!

    • taroeldredge

      Yes, intersegmental membrane alright. They aren’t born so fat and increase in size after eclosion so young adults have pleated intersegmental membranes!

  5. That’s about the most awesome staphylinid ever. Looks like it needs liposuction.

    • taroeldredge

      This beast is so cool! But, you haven’t seen the best of them. Some African and Australian members of this tribe have abdominal lobes that truly make it look like a termite!

      Yea, it does look like it needs liposuction, I never thought of it that way. I might steal that joke from you…

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