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Photo#392135
beetle? that looks like a tiny eggplant - Mezium affine

beetle? that looks like a tiny eggplant - Mezium affine
Wiscasset, Sagadahoc County, Maine, USA
May 1, 2010
Size: tad less than 1/8th inch
I found this cute bug in a local restaurants bathroom. I first thought it was a spider but soon realized (after I rescued it from a probable stomping fate) that it was some sort of beetle (I think). I'm thinking some sort of weevil? It really does look like an eggplant, same color and shape. I found it in mid winter (Feb.) and I couldn't release it as it would have died up here in Maine so I kept it until Spring to release it. I guess it's time to let it go but I would like to know what it is so I can let it go in the correct habitat. I've actually become very fond of this little bug - feeding it every day and making it happy. Please let me know where I should release it and what it is! Thanks P.S. Photos taken in its jar on bean sprouts (where it has been living since Feb)

Images of this individual: tag all
beetle? that looks like a tiny eggplant - Mezium affine beetle? that looks like a tiny eggplant - Mezium affine beetle? that looks like a tiny eggplant - Mezium affine

this is indeed Mezium affine; nice series -- thanks, ladies.
Moved from ID Request.

 
Where should I let this bug go?
Thanks for the ID! Do you think I should just let this guy/gal go out into the Maine woods? Or would it prefer a field? As I said in my ID request, it was found in a restaurant bathroom - which makes sense after reading the facts about these beetles in "Species Mezium affine - Shiny spider beetle" section in Bugguide - they like dried goods/food storage. You seem to really know beetles, where should I let it go? Thanks!

 
Not native
It seems to be a non-native species and there may be no suitable habitat outdoors in Maine. It is commonly observed indoors, and was probably living off the restaurant's food stocks or scraps where you found it. All three sightings on BugGuide are indoors.

 
Note: fresh greens
I also read that these beetles eat dried plant and animal matter. My beetle has been living off fresh greens since Feb. (3 full months) and it's nice and healthy. Just thought that may be a new observation.

spider beetle
Mezium

 
Thanks
Thanks for the ID Jody!

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