Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
beetles - Byturus unicolor - male - female

beetles - Byturus unicolor - Male Female
4 miles east of Ithaca, Tompkins County, New York, USA
June 6, 2005
Size: < 5mm
resembles this beetle

Images of this individual: tag all
beetles - Byturus unicolor - male - female beetles - Byturus unicolor - male - female


To loosen the nail . . .
. . . I like to tell, that my opinion is the same as that of earlier contributors - this is a species of Byturus (and probably your unicolor, European species are more densely pubescent). Reasons:

First: morphology. Please compare the other images of Telmatophilus - you will recognize, that there are some differences, most obvously the form of pronotum (I confirm that those pics show Telmatophilus).

Second: Ecology: Byturus sp. develop in Rosaceaen flowers, so it is quite natural that they meet (and mate!) there.
Telmatophilus sp., on the other hand, develop on swamp plants (Typha sp., Sparganium sp.) and not likely to meet in other places!

regards, Boris

I can see it.
The pronotum appears widest at its base whereas in my images of Telmatophilus it appears to bulge to its widest point closer to the halfway point.

Cryptophagidae: Telmatophilus americanus
Some crytophagids love to get into flowers to eat pollen also.

thanks Don
for nailing this down

Raspberry Fruitworm
According to that's the common name for Byturis unicolor. Could the berry vines (or "canes") have been red raspberry? If so, that would about cinch it for ID.

I have raspberries in the back yard. I'll have to watch for this species in summer 2006.

RE: Raspberry Fruitworm
I do indeed wonder if that's how the raspberry fruitworm got its name. I have a raspberry bush out back in my place, so I'll be on the lookout as well.

berry vine
Here is a better view of the flower on which I photographed these beetles. (It's not the same exact flower (nor the same beetle!), but it is the same plant, in the same clump of vines, photographed on the same day.) I don't know if this will help ... I'm guilty of ignoring plants.

I've left a message to see if my parents can tell me which type of vines these were from. These photos were taken in their backyard, and I'm only there once a year.

I can't tell from blossom,
although *someone* might be able to. I think I would need a whole plant shot. But let me ask you, were the canes red? If they were green or dark purple and sprawling, chances are these were blackberries. But if they were fairly uniformly red or dark pinkish and semi erect-standing, they would be raspberries.

Btw, that other shot of the blossom is an excellent beetle shot. I get the feeling you've got loads of great images you haven't posted. I must have several thousand myself, although none probably approach the clarity and detail I see in yours. I'm a bit sheepish and apologetic about some of the stuff I post, but if they are the best photos I have of a new (for bugguide) species, genus, or family, I post them anyway, hoping they will be frassed when better photos of the same insect come in. I'm more into facilitating insect ID than I am the pursuit of photographic perfection in all my work. My limiting factor is time. I can spend a couple hours shooting and it will take me a month to select the best images, doctor them in PhotoShop, and place them on bugguide. Consequently, my backlog is hopeless and growing.

blackberry & hopeless backlog
My mother confirmed that the plants are blackberries. The canes are dark purple. There are raspberry vines elsewhere on the property (she knows the difference), but not in the immediate vicinity of where I photographed these beetles. I'm 100% sure about where I photographed the beetles even though it was 6 months ago. So, this doesn't help very much with the ID.

Thanks for your comments about my photos--you shouldn't be so harsh about yours though. I appreciate all your photographic contributions--I'm definitely aware that you are adding species and even families not otherwise represented in bugguide. The details in your photos (and your comments) have certainly been useful for me; I'm sure they are for other people as well.

I know about the hopeless and growing backlog of photos. Yes, I have a big pile of photos that have not been posted. I have managed to keep up with selecting which ones to keep vs delete, and also I put them in a database on my PC arranged by family or order so I have some hope of finding them again. And I record the locations and dates, and other relevant information if I have any. THEN I like to spend at least a little time trying to ID things myself (that's half the fun) before posting photos. That's where my backlog is the biggest. It's too bad I have to spend so much time working--otherwise I'd be playing with photos all day long every day. :)

Maybe your beetles were trying a little menu variety, or maybe they prefer not to mate in their dining room : )

At some point I hope to own a real macro lens -- maybe to go with one of those 16-megapixel cameras when they drop in price. Then I'll be satisfied with my equipment -- for another year or two!

Full-time nature photography, yes! I'm counting the years...

Wrong shape for Nitidulidae
The antennal ball is far less pronounced in your beetle, nor is the body as wide or as flattened. Other possibilities are the Cryptophagidae and the Byturidae .

was on (black?)berry flower
which would point towards Byturidae I think.

I have yet to encounter a byturid in the East
Most species are in the West I understand, but there are some here.

I've only seen a ..
I've only seen a few Byturids in the east, but I'm guessing you're both right. Like this or maybe here or finally this.

Seems dark, but maybe Byturus unicolor

Byturus unicolor
Is the only member of the family on the University of New Hampshire checklist. What does the Rhode Island checklist have? And are there any Byturidae in Canada? In other words, is Byturus unicolor the only byturid around? If so, that must be it.

otoh, Byturus ochraceus, which is in Iowa plus Europe, appears to be black, lightened by its coat of hair, as these seem to be.

B. unicolor
The Rhode Island list shows only B. unicolor for this family - same for Canada. That may be it for the NE.

I see no records for SC and the Florida list is blank.

I have a hard copy of the Maine Coleoptera list.
I don't know how comprehensive it is. It's an "annotated list of insects collected and recorded by the Maine Forest Service," with the volume in hand being for Order Coleoptera.

Anyway, they list one species, Byturis rubi, which they acknowledge could be a misidentification and that it in fact could be B. unicolor.

in NC
The NC collection website includes B. unicolor as well - the Nomina insecta checklist is totally hosed. Note; don't use it for the various group of Scarabs either - a mess!