Friday Beetle Blogging: A Minute Bark Beetle


Philothermus glabriculus (Cerylonidae)
Urbana, Illinois

A while back I noted that, at a rate of one beetle per week, I'd need about 10,000 years to get through all the described species. Since I made that comment we're getting closer to needing only 9,999 years, but if the Coleopterists keep discovering new ones I'm not sure what I'll do*. There are an awful lot of beetles.

In any case, this little Cerylonid is common under the bark of dead trees across eastern North America. Its diminutive size (only a couple millimeters long) makes it rather difficult to spot, so to find Philothermus you'll want to watch for the shiny reflections off the beetle's elytra.

photo details:
Canon EOS 50D camera
Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens
ISO 100, f/13, 1/250sec

*[update]: For example, Zootaxa this week has eleven new ladybird beetle species, and Zookeys has six new rove beetles and a new stag beetle.

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Awww...soo cute!

Now I gotta go figure out how to take pictures of the really really cute first instar mantises that just hatched in my office... I may cheat and use a microscope camera.

bark beetles annoy me for many reasons, mostly for mistimed postdoc opportunities, but also because they remind me of don dahlsten, who was the penultimate curmudgeon/booze lover/rubber duck collector/biocontrol expert who I ever met, and despite only knowing him for 1 year, one of my fondest memories of graduate school, especially the moment he berated me for 10 minutes for holding my wine glass improperly... apart from the biocontrol expert thing I'm almost him, but give me 37 years...but really how often are you going to encounter a fellow rubber duck collector?

By ihateaphids (not verified) on 16 Apr 2010 #permalink