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Photo#101127
One of Richard's mandibular-horned minute tree fungus beetles - Octotemnus - male

One of Richard's mandibular-horned minute tree fungus beetles - Octotemnus - Male
Berkeley County, South Carolina, USA
March 17, 2007
Size: about 2.3 mm minus horns
Bugguide contributing editor Richard Lareau collected male and female of this species and others in a large, very tough, malodorous, irregular-shaped pollypore fruiting body clinging to a downed swamp tupelo tree in a tupelo and cypress swamp. See images of two of his finds here and here.

(Edit: The above links go to blank pages because Lareau, in a dispute with a newly added Bug Guide editor who frassed some of his images, opted to remove all his images from the site. My series of images will serve as proxy for Lareau's first post of this as-yet undescribed species.)

Richard sent me some good-sized pieces of this fungus so I could get some live images of its beetle population. My early efforts were very frustrating and I was beginning to think Richard had played an early April Fool's joke on me when suddendly I saw ciid tunnels after one manly rip of the tough fungus, and there in the big plastic bowl over which I was working lay this male of the same apparent species.

Because this may represent an undescribed species I have not held myself to a paltry few images. Further, in view of the limits of my lens system, I have invited Tom Murray to try out his superior equipment on this little guy, so bugguide will be awash in images of this ciid species.

This specimen and any others I might find in Richard's fungus will be sent to Glenda Orledge, a Ciidae expert in England. She is already familiar with bugguide and with Richard's find and quite anxious to examine any specimens (hint, hint, Richard).

Images of this individual: tag all
One of Richard's mandibular-horned minute tree fungus beetles - Octotemnus - male One of Richard's mandibular-horned minute fungus beetles - Octotemnus - male One of Richard's mandibular-horned minute fungus beetles - Octotemnus - male One of Richard's mandibular-horned minute fungus beetles - Octotemnus - male One of Richard's mandibular-horned minute fungus beetles - Octotemnus - male One of Richard's mandibular-horned minute fungus beetles - Octotemnus - male One of Richard's mandibular-horned minute fungus beetles - Octotemnus - male One of Richard's mandibular-horned minute fungus beetles - Octotemnus - male One of Richard's mandibular-horned minute fungus beetles - Octotemnus - male One of Richard's mandibular-horned minute fungus beetles - Octotemnus - male One of Richard's mandibular-horned minute fungus beetles - Octotemnus - male One of Richard's mandibular-horned minute fungus beetles - Octotemnus - male Richard's tough, malodorous polypore swamp fungus - Octotemnus Richard's tough, malodorous polypore swamp fungus - Octotemnus Richard's tough, malodorous polypore swamp fungus - Octotemnus Richard's tough, malodorous polypore swamp fungus - Octotemnus One of Richard's mandibular-horned minute fungus beetles - Octotemnus - male One of Richard's mandibular-horned minute fungus beetles - Octotemnus - male One of Richard's mandibular-horned minute fungus beetles - Octotemnus - male

*
We have located a very simular beetle to this one we are taking them to FSCA (Florida State Collection of Arthropods) to get some super pictures taken with their auto montage system.. we will post them as soon as we can.

Moved
Moved from Octotemnus.

I have a bunch of similar beetles
I grabbed a big shelf fungus that was simply loaded with tiny rhinocerous looking beetles. I will post photos shortly.

The fungus was growing from a stump (possibly cypress, or maybe oak) at the edge of a riparian cypress-tupelo swamp. Should i hang onto a piece of the fungus as well? Will that be important for diagnosing the beetle's species?

Finally, does anyone still want specimens?

 
Yes,
Glenda Orledge is lead researcher doing the description of this species and she is interested in any new locations (you didn't say where). You could dry some of the fungus out, Freeze it for a couple days to kill any critters in it, pack it with some dessicant along with some of the beetles (maybe a dozen or so) in a vial of alcohol and send it to:

Dr Glenda M. Orledge
Department of Biology and Biochemistry
Building 4 South
University of Bath
Claverton Down
Bath
BA2 7AY
United Kingdom

email: G.M.Orledge@bath.ac.uk

I would suggest emailing her first in case she has any special procedures in mind (put Octotemnus in subject line). If you need to be reimbursed for postage she can probably arrange it.

 
Here's my image


I'll probably post more images later. I've reserved several dozen in alcohol, and I'm going to send another dozen or two to Dr. Orledge.

 
Ok, will do
For some reason I edited out the location (Slidell, Louisiana, on the bank of the West Pearl River).

I will contact Glenda Orledge about sending her the beetles, thanks for your help!

Moved

Let me know where to send the
Let me know where to send them and if I need special papers to do so. I can probably send 30 or so specimens from 2 locations 30 miles apart(I suspect this spp to be very common here, just unobserved because of its cryptic habits. I also have larvae and pupae).

As you may guess, I have found another population in what looks like a similar Polypore.

 
You won't need special papers.
Just fill out a standard brief customs declaration at the Post Office and under description write "1 vial dead insects," or however many vials you are sending. If asked if the package contains any liquids or flammable materials, I just say, "It's dead insects."

If possible, you might want to keep the specimens from different locations separate on the chance they are not the same species.

 
Separating specimens
You both need not worry about me mixing specimens from differing dates, sites, etc. I'm very meticulous at that! Guaranteed!!

 
Glenda's shipping address
sent :-)

See Tom Murray's 8 images of this beetle:

Hi Jim,
Great images!! Fungus looks browner than I had sent. You got a major male too. Some males I've found have barely enlarged mandibular horns!
Any luck with the Nano,s. Wasn't until I got the 1st one did I begin to see so many!

 
Hi Richard,
Fungus didn't change color. It's just color distortion from my various lens and lighting setups. I used no flash boost on the wider fungus shots.

I didn't find a single nano. I whacked and whacked ever more forcefully and studied the fine debris against white paper with my 25x macroscope, checking against rule marks periodically to make sure I was looking in the right size range. I must have done this for a couple hours, trying each of the three sections you sent before I began ripping the fungus apart. I also saw no fungus weev*ils and only one ciid tunnel among the three sections. Fortunately it was the male who was home alone :-)

If you have extra specimens for Ciidae authority Glenda Orledge, email me and I'll send her mailing address by return mail.

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