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Photo#174439
treetop larvae - Platydema

treetop larvae - Platydema
Nashua, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, USA
March 25, 2008
Size: 6 - 7 mm
Red oak has a wonderfully speciose subcortical (under-bark) environment, especially in the two or three years after dying. I noticed one side of a double-trunk red oak on the property had died a couple years ago and decided to try out the new chain for my chainsaw on its removal. I discovered a wealth of subcortical beetles, mostly larval.

As I stripped bark from the toppled trunk I worked my way from bottom to top. Most of the specimens I found were in the bottom ten feet (3 meters) or so of the tree, with hardly anything further as I stripped progressively higher -- until I got to the top couple feet of the trunk, by then just a couple inches in diameter. There I found seven or eight of these brindled, front-heavy larvae that appear to have eye spots, all within a six-inch segment of the trunk.

These resemble no larvae that I've collected previously. (Three other larva types from this tree are also new to me.) Obviously they have become my latest rearing project so I may be able to post pupal and imago (adult) stages within a few weeks. I'm keeping them, along with other unknown larvae from this tree, in a sealed leftover container full of bark scraps from the tree.

Images of this individual: tag all
treetop larvae - Platydema treetop larvae - Platydema treetop larvae - Platydema treetop larvae - Platydema treetop larvae - Platydema treetop larvae - Platydema treetop larvae - Platydema

Moved
Moved from Platydema.

Moved
Moved from Darkling Beetles to Platydema on the basis of similarity to images by Joyce Gross:

Moved
Moved from Beetles.

I lied.
When I said "These resemble no larvae that I've collected previously" I had forgotten about this larva I found inside a fallen oak branch. It almost matured but died of complications during pupation.

These look a lot like one Joyce Gross larva photo:


I see hers was on fungus and it matured into a Platyde*ma species. Mine had no fungus anywhere near them but just on the chance they are fungus eaters I'll toss various dried tree fungus bits into their container.

Teneb
my guess as well.

 
There were
a number of small, black tenebs lower down on the tree beneath the bark. I'll link here when I post them.

larva
Hi Jim,
By looking at the larva, it looks like a small elaterid or tenebrionid. I look forward to see what species of beetle it turns out to be. Good luck.

 
I'm more inclined toward your second choice, Robert.
These were not at all prognathous so I quickly decided they were not click larvae.

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