Charismatic Microfauna

Holy golden lion tamarin of the insect kingdom batman, this has got to be one of the most beautiful beetles I have ever seen! I know I know, I’m going to say that a lot, but this guy is truly amazing.

This fellow is a specimen collected during the recent Hearst expedition to the Philippines. Like this species, many of the collected beetles are small and appear brown to the naked eye. However, once under a microscope, they frequently reveal themselves to be tiny metallic gems! And for the lesser known groups of beetles, chances are only a handful (if anyone), has ever seen that particular species before.

This specimen belongs to the family Elateridae, otherwise known as “click beetles” due to their ability to project themselves into the air by snapping a spine on the underside of their thorax. There are about 9300 species of Elaterids found all over the world, and most are rather drab and cryptic looking, but there are some stand-outs apparently! I just kind of want to pet him.

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11 thoughts on “Charismatic Microfauna

  1. As was mentioned, most click beetles are rather drab, but there are exceptions. In the Brazilian Amazon region there is a genus of click beetles (Pyrophorus spp.) that have two fluorescent spots on the pronotum. These spots glow continuously bright green as they fly through the forest at night, leading to legends of monsters in the forest.

  2. Holy Flip’n quails, I thought I might mention that this is in the family Eucnemidae, still in the super family Elateroidea.

  3. Give me some bread for that marmalade?….and tea. If you go to bugguide.net and look under the info page for Eucnemids they have the characters that separate them from similar groups…if you’re interested.

    • Ain’t got no bread, but I can give you marmot marmalade…marmotalade if you’re fancy! Thanks for the info., I checked out the page and it sounds like the antennae and prosternum are both good characters, except I can’t see any of those structures in the pictures I have, you must have a good eye for these things! I’ll have to hunt down the actual specimen.

  4. Nope, just seen a ton of Eucnemids from the Philippines!!! I even recognize the genus, but its not coming to mind right now. Holy Marmot hells, I need marmotmittens!

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