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Puffball, not pill scarab - Caenocara

Puffball, not pill scarab - Caenocara
Hudson, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, USA
Size: 2 mm
Phillip thought (maybe hoped) this was a pill scarab, though it was hard to see detail in the group shot from my lightbulb collection. Anyway I shot closeups to find out, and it's clearly a puffball beetle.

Images of this individual: tag all
Puffball, not pill scarab - Caenocara Puffball, not pill scarab - Caenocara Puffball, not pill scarab - Caenocara

I've got some shots here that are useful for pointing out features, so I'm re-directing them to genus page.

I had hoped
It was definitely a long shot, nice shots though.

Pill Scarabs (Ceratocanthidae) were only recently found as far north as Canada - so maybe NH? I occasionally see these at light, but more often under bark of pretty rotten deciduous trees. They roll up so compactly that they appear to be only part of a beetle. Larva reportedly in Passalid frass.

Howden, H.F. 1992. First Canadian record of the subfamily Ceratocanthinae
(Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). The Coleopterists Bulletin 46(3): 273.

I guess pill scarab larvae eat other stuff too,
otherwise they wouldn't get too far north of a passalid population.

of course
They appear to require quite decomposed wood - Passalid frass would be a good source. Most that I've found were in fairly rotten logs or branches that practically fall apart in your hands.

Are they in the 2mm range?
I'll keep a sharp eye out for black pills in beetle frass and pulpy wood.

btw, Margaret Thayer informs me Brachy*pteridae is the better name for Kater*idae. I want to see what Andy Cline says since he studies them. The Russians seem sold on Kater*idae.

yes, when curled up
They'd appear that small in the field.

On Kater*dae - It appears that the ICZN has ruled on this, (haven't read that opinion) which usually settles the matter - see synonyms section for specifics.

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