Just a few hours after posting my last "smallest beetle" images
, I was breaking open shelf fungi I collected a week earlier to see what might be living in there and spotted some obvious mit*es: shiny, reddish-brown, slow moving like some species of fungus mit*es. I flicked them off the fungus pieces and into a deli container with a fine-tip watercolor brush for photographing later. I found three other adult beetle species, lots of one variety of spring*tail, a centi*pede and a sow*bug, plus three apparent species of trogos*sitid beetle larvae, Thy*malus sp. being in the overwhelming majority (names disguised to prevent browser from showing this image when those names are searched for).
Around 2AM I viewed one of the mit*es through a loupe. I had been fooled! It was a very tiny beetle, possibly a histerid, although I had never seen or heard of a brown one before. (Every histerid I've found previously has been dressed all in black.) It was nice to be fooled in reverse of my normal mode, which is to mistake mit*es for beetles.
I took photos at once but was not happy with the results and shot them again after a night's sleep. Those are the images you see here. I knew at once from the photos that this was a histerid due to the signature yellow antennal balls and the spade-shaped foretibia. Conceivably this is a newly eclosed individual that has yet to attain full color. If not, I would think the color would be an important ID trait.