Monthly Archives: March 2013

Spring break

I headed out to Oregon for some spring break collecting and skiing.

Day 1:

Intertidal collecting is one of my favorites, but I miss out here in Kansas. When I’m on the west coast, you can guarantee that I’m intertidal collecting at least some of the time.

Typical Oregon rocky intertidal habitat.

This time I was lucky to have Kojun with me. He was after Aegialites, an intertidal salpingid. We unfortunately struck out for Kojun, but collected a nice series of Liparocephalus cordicollis – posterchild intertidal beetle. Some speculate that the presence of this genus suggests pristine habitat.

They also strangely exhibit some intense head size polymorphism. The one photographed is a big-headed individual. Reasons behind this polymorphism is totally unclear.

Liparocephalus cordicollis

Liparocephalus cordicollis.

Day 2:

The morning leaf litter was excellent! Four species of Tachyporus was impressive and a new family for me ! Trachypachyidae. But the best find was Deinopteroloma subcostatum. A strange looking staphylinid, previously misplaced in the family Silphidae. The long elytra and pretty colors are spectacular.

Deinopteroloma subcostatum

Deinopteroloma subcostatum.

Kojun was keen on collecting Ischalia, a strange tenebrionoid of which its phylogenetic position is uncertain; reminds me of a anthicid crossed with a lycid. Apparently they live under bark so after some Mexican food for lunch, we next headed out for some de-barking.

Ahh, another Pacific northwestern regular, the subcorticular Trigonurus. They appear super plesiomorphic to me. Kojun tells me that they are some of the first staphylinids to appear in the spring. These guys alone aren’t too exciting, but the larvae I found together with them was a first and exciting. I really dig the stout nubby setae.

Trigonurus sp. adult.

Trigonurus sp. adult.

Trigonurus sp. larva

Trigonurus sp. larva.

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PUPA

Spring break begins this week and I’ll be off to Oregon for a short while. While I’m there, Kojun and I will hook up for some intertidal collecting/coastal camping.

Working on a plate – a pupa of Homalota reared from field collected larvae. The genus and related things all live under bark where adults feed on fungi and larvae on small invertebrates.

Homalota pupa blog

The larvae haven’t been formally described yet so I’ll be doing that, and present along with it behavioral observations from keeping these things in the lab.

More minis.

TA meeting, applied for money, reviewed a manuscript… Before I continue on with more pressing tasks, here are a couple more mini-clavs. These are from the KU collections.

Mini-clavs

Mini-clavs

And, something to stimulate your auditory senses while these little guys blow your visual fuse box.

Oh, and next time your lab gets dry ice.