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Photo#1439401
Beetle graffiti, artist's conk - Bolitotherus cornutus

Beetle graffiti, artist's conk - Bolitotherus cornutus
Craggy Rocks, Winneshiek County, Iowa, USA
February 23, 2017
February 2017: MJ Hatfield and I collect artist's conk mushrooms bearing a distinctive kind of 'graffiti': small, dark brown, cocoon-like domes lined up along a contour on the upper surface of the mushroom. Under magnification, these turned out to be capped entrances to tunnels leading into the mushroom. Inside the tunnels were young beetle larvae.

At this point MJ neglected to mention that she had already reared the forked fungus beetle from artist's conk



but of course we had no way of knowing that's what it would turn out to be:



Or, I should say, that's what it would apparently turn out to be. Much as I'd like to I can't say for certain that the larva shown here gave rise to one of the adult forked fungus beetles found in the rearing container in summer. It's conceivable these little capped-tunnel beetle larvae died and the fungus beetles hatched from eggs and ate the mushrooms in my rearing container. But the simpler explanation seems to be that just one species of beetle is involved, so the capped-tunnel larva is getting placed here in the guide for now.

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Beetle graffiti, artist's conk - Bolitotherus cornutus Beetle graffiti, artist's conk - Bolitotherus cornutus Beetle graffiti, artist's conk - Bolitotherus cornutus