Nosodendron californicum - Wounded Tree Beetle
From the Department of Really Obscure Insects, here's a beetle that few non-specialists will recognize.Â Nosodendron inhabits the rotting tissue of long-festering tree wounds.Â These beetles are not rare so much as specialized to an environment where few entomologists think to look. Â If you can spot the telltale stains of an old wound on the trunks of large trees, you should be able to find Nosodendron.Â They feed on the microbes- the yeast and bacteria- that grow in the sap leaking from the phloem.
There are, in fact, whole communities of insects associated with tree wounds.Â Several fly families are found nowhere else.Â I photographed this odiniid fly drinking from the yeasty slime:
photo details (both photos): Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS D60
ISO 100, f/13, 1/200 sec, flash diffused through tracing paper
That beetle doesn't look injured...oh...nevermind. :P