Photo from the summer. Collecting for Gymnusa in northeastern America took me to a lot of swamps, marshes and bogs. Anaquedius vernix is a huge (think first little finger joint)! They like such places. I usually work on small frail-look’n rove beetles (aleocharines), but Anaquedius in my fingers feels like, “Yeah, beetle in my hand!”
In the field these guys were quite behaviorally interesting. They apparently can see you approaching (oh, what big eyes you have – no, seriously) and more then once combated an individual that actively dove underwater to avoid any confrontation! Terrestrial beetles are not commonly known to actively dive underwater. Interestingly, the behavior is convergently exploited by some related species which actively capture aquatic prey in water that collects in segments of cut bamboo!
I tried to give my Evolution section today a sense of the geologic timescale – deep-time. I personally had trouble with this concept. Now, strangely, I feel as though a million years are nothing. Maybe that’s why the semesters seem to slip away. I guess if we scale-up semesters to reflect evolutionary time, we’d never graduate. That would in some sense be heaven and hell.
Contemplate the beetle to my Gymnusa theme-song.