Monday Night Mystery

What's going on here?

Five points for naming the organism, and five points for the behavior.

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I expect that it is a case of 'reflex bleeding' to deter predators, but I don't know which beetle species this is in particular. Maybe a lady beetle?

Yeah, I would say reflex bleeding but it doesn't look like a coccinellid-- adult beetles are almost always biungulate. Or is it that a clever illusion? Setae look like a spider or a mordellid.

By Ainsley S (not verified) on 15 Feb 2010 #permalink

Im going to go with reflex bleeding in a blister beetle (Epicauta?).

By Pete Yeeles (not verified) on 16 Feb 2010 #permalink

Autohaemorrhaging, yes. Coccinellidae? There are some pretty hairy lady beetles but there also seems to be a well-developed tibial spur (which I'm not used to seeing) and this critter just seems to "leggy" to be a coccinellid. Blister beetle is a more likely candidate...I agree with Peter's Epicauta and I'll raise him a pardalis.

Hmmm. Certainly looks like reflexive bleeding, but what has both monodactyl claws and semi-scale-like hairs? Beetles are best known for reflexive bleeding (coccinellids, blister, darkling, lampyrid, chrysomelid etc.), although I think I read that even froghoppers can do it, but my impression of insects is that they have two tarsal claws. Looks like a spider to me, but spiders are usually bidactyl too. Opilionids, millipedes and centipedes, and proturans have a single claw, but none of these look right.

I suppose I should guess a likely cocinellid 9like Stethorus) or a weevil, but I'm going to throw logic to the winds and guess a jumping spider. It looks spidery to me, people like to photography jumping spiders (and perhaps Alex managed to overcome his phobia for a moment), and perhaps that single claw is on a palp (which would make sense). This could be my first trail of false logic of the day. On to the next.