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Mordellistena  - Mordellistena aspersa

Mordellistena - Mordellistena aspersa
Medford, (~25 miles east of Philadelphia, PA) Burlington County, New Jersey, USA
June 1, 2008
Size: ~3mm w/o the style
if I'm counting the ridges correctly (4,3,2), then Liljeblad's key takes this one to M. fuscata (with some further question noted on the info page). In any case, a new species for my backyard. Corrections welcome :)

came to UV light

Images of this individual: tag all
Mordellistena  - Mordellistena aspersa Mordellistena  - Mordellistena aspersa

Moved from Mordellistena.


Mordellistena morula LeConte
Unfortunately, you're not counting the ridges correctly. :-> The subapical ridge on the tibia (which all species have) is not counted when determining the number of ridges. So the ridge formula on this specimen appears to be (3,3,2). In Liljeblad (1945) this specimen appears to key out to Mordellistana morula LeConte. Mordellistana fuscata (Melsheimer) looks very different; dark brown (not black) with dense golden pubescence; the first two pairs of legs are dull rufous.

Thanks Chris,
There was a period when I was confused and thinking the subapical was the fring of strong setae around the apex of the tibia.

That said, what do you think about this one instead being M. aspersa (Mel.)? Liljeblad's keys read very definative regarding ridge count, yet his descriptions are often very much less certain, with "often with an additional rudimentary ridge", or one sex having one more ridge than the other. And his description of M. mordula sound a bit tentative, although perhaps it's been firmed up in the past 100 years. Where as M. aspersa appears to fit this beetle fairly well, and sounds like a more commonly collected and recognized species.

In any case, thanks for the correction :)


it's so nice... see a good picture of a mordellid -- and IDed to species, too!
Mordellistena fuscata (Melsheimer, 1845)
Tim, do you mind adding authority + year to the names (on the info pages)? see discussion here (too much to read, but there seem to be a consensus the guide needs this data)

done for this sp.
I added that info to the "synonyms and other taxonomic changes" field. I read through the discussion, and yes, there appears to be a consensus, but currently the BugGuide software does not allow the placement of the author information in the species field. The authorship information has to go in another field that allows free text entry (more than one word). Another field would have to be added, or some other changes to the software made, in order to make the Binomial include author information in, say, the title of an info page.

thanks, Patrick