Broken Glass

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Harold Gough wrote:That's the common one, now in the genus Ocypus.
I didn't mean to challenge anyone's identification. Left to my own resources and memory, I would have stopped at Staphylinidae and apologized for not being able to get any closer. I agree that the devil's coach-horse beetle is a good match to this photograph. But since I don't know how many other species are also a good match to the photograph, and since I am familiar with other groups that have many apparently similar species that the experts consider to be clearly delineated -- and still other groups about which even the experts are debating -- I would be inclined to stay pretty loose about the ID. "Definitely looks like a rove beetle!" is more my speed.

--Rik

Harold Gough
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Post by Harold Gough »

rjlittlefield wrote:I didn't mean to challenge anyone's identification.
What challenge! I don't see it! :)

Harold
My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

cozdas
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Post by cozdas »

Ah yeah: I'm in Berkeley, California, USA and "he" is correct :o)

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Harold Gough wrote:
rjlittlefield wrote:I didn't mean to challenge anyone's identification.
What challenge! I don't see it! :)
Good, 'cuz there was none intended. But the way the timing and wording of the posts came together seemed a bit awkward.

Rove beetles in California... Now there's a topic I don't know anything about!

--Rik

Harold Gough
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Post by Harold Gough »

rjlittlefield wrote:Personally, I have never seen a rove beetle that looks as large and squat as this one. Nor as heavily textured, for that matter.
That's why I was cautious, mindful, also, of the possible effect of physical damage and possible dessication (the abdomen seems contracted).
rjlittlefield wrote:All the rove beetles that I remember are slender and glossy. Which could be merely a tribute to my lousy memory...
Correct for, say, 99% but, sometimes in specialised habitats e.g.:

http://www.macrogamta.lt/e107_plugins/c ... =196&pos=1

http://www.insectsofwestvirginia.net/b/ ... latus.html

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pcoin/3005695092/

http://www.biolib.cz/en/image/id77307/


Harold
My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

A rove beetle with orange hair! On the sand as pictured, with the hair and bright colors, I would shy away from that critter thinking it might be a velvet ant. Mimicry?
rjlittlefield wrote:All the rove beetles that I remember are slender and glossy. Which could be merely a tribute to my lousy memory...
Opening my copy of Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, and then comparing with Bugguide, I see that there is at least one other genus (Platydracus) containing large textured rove beetles that look like this.

On the other hand, Kaufman notes that
The so-called Devil's Coach Horse (Ocypus olens), native to Europe, was discovered in California in 1931. It is now common in the Bay Area and in urban southern California. At up to 32 mm long and with a menacing defense posture (jaws wide open, abdomen upraised, stink glands deployed), it never fails to attract attention. It earns its keep by eating snails, slugs, and other pests.
All in all, Devil's Coach Horse seems like a good bet, recognizing that there is some uncertainty and it might even be clearly wrong to a specialist who knows just what to look for.

--Rik

Mitch640
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Post by Mitch640 »

thinking it might be a velvet ant
Really nasty little things. I knew what they were and one still got me one day.

Harold Gough
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Post by Harold Gough »

Mitch640 wrote:
thinking it might be a velvet ant
Really nasty little things. I knew what they were and one still got me one day.
A velvet ant the size of this beetle would probably be lethal! :shock:

Harold
My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

Cyclops
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Post by Cyclops »

Fantastic! Staphylinus?
Canon 30D | Canon IXUS 265HS | Cosina 100mm f3.5 macro | EF 75-300 f4.5-5.6 USM III | EF 50 f1.8 II | Slik 88 tripod | Apex Practicioner monocular microscope

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