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Latridiidae? - Melanophthalma

Latridiidae? - Melanophthalma
Medford, (~25 miles east of Philadelphia, PA) Burlington County, New Jersey, USA
August 31, 2008
Size: 1.8mm
I get this family often but mostly dull medium brown ones, not this black. Suggestions welcome :)

came to UV light

Images of this individual: tag all
Latridiidae? - Melanophthalma Latridiidae? - Melanophthalma

Moved from Corticariinae.

Moved - thank you both
Moved from Beetles.

Maybe someday I'll key it further, but initial attempts left me feeling uncertain.

it is.

Melanophthalma or Cortinicara
I think the transverse impression close to the base of the pronotum which extends to the lateral margins will separate these 2 genera from Corticaria and Corticarina (more circular impressions).

I can't see coxal lines on the first abdominal sternite in this photo and the hind tarsi are too hairy for me to see in this photo. If you still have the specimen, take a look at these features.

If there aren't any lines impressed on the first sternite (smooth) and the second hind tarsomere is shorter than the first, then it is Cortinicara.

i see them...
the coxal lines are present, so this one can move to Melanophthalma.

Thanks again
Using Downie and Arnett, it appears to key to either M. distinguenda Comolli or M. villosa Zimmerman (although those two are not described as "brown", so perhaps I'm not looking at the tarsi (1&2) correctly). I'll need to take a better look under the scope, and possibly post an image of the eytral apex.

maybe something MORE interesting... :-)
I have collected quite a few M. americana, pumila, and villosa and none of them were near as dark as your specimen.
I know color isn't a good trait to go on, but this is quite stark. If it's a male, it might be worthwhile dissecting and taking high quality photos of the genitalia -OR- see if you can send the beetle to an expert- which I am not :-} just a budding latridiid enthusiast!

In the Melanophthalma key in D&A, there are a few genera included as Melanophthalma (Cortilena, Corticarina, Cortinicara...) and the names are a little out of date- it's actually VERY awkward to navigate to species. Now M. distinguenda (and morsa, pusilla, rufula) is a synonym of M. americana...AND we may have some novel species among us. All of these things (including the fact that often dissection is required to make confident ID) make this group challenging.

stamps vs parts
I wouldn't know how to begin on dissecting. But if anyone wants a crack at this one, I'm much more proficient at putting a stamp on a mailable unit tray.

Hi Tim,
If you still have the specimen and are able to mail it, I'm very keen to take a closer look at it. I have been working on some descriptions of new species in the Corticariinae and I am in contact with the world expert. If it turns out to be novel, it is typical to name the species after the collector.

You could send it to:
Charlene Wood
c/o The University of Alberta
Department of Renewable Resources
Invertebrate Ecology Laboratory
2-37 Earth Sciences Building
Edmonton, Alberta
T6G 2E1

Cheers, Charlene

just give me a few weeks to clear the new year (and a new challenge at home).

no problem!
no rush on it, I'm just curious to see what this species might be...
have a good one!

Corticarina or close kin