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Discussion of 2018 gathering

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

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TaxonomyBrowseInfoImagesLinksBooksData
Photo#47109
Ithycerus noveboracensis

Ithycerus noveboracensis
7 km east of Paw Paw, Morgan County, West Virginia, USA
July 9, 1999
Size: 16 mm
Collected at UV lights.

Moved
Moved to guide. That's a nice find. I hope I can get one sometime. For some reason I have a lot of trouble finding good beetles around here. Is Pennsylvania just a little too far north? Just like tiger beetles; they're in Maryland, but not common here.

 
Is PA too far north?
Well, the answer to that question is complicated and I will try to send you a more detailed response via email but the short answer is an emphatic "NO!". It is true that beetle diversity increases the further south you go in the US and there are things like Unicorn Beetles that I was always looking for when I was in high school (I see from your bio that you are in 10th grade - believe me - your skills as a photographer and entomologist are much better than when I was your age - I hope you plan to carry on your interest in college) that you can collect in MD but not PA. However, and just to give a few examples, Glycobius speciosus and Chalcophora fortis (two of our most spectacular wood borers) occur in PA but not MD. I lived in Maine for 5 years and never felt like there weren't plenty of neat beetles to find. So, I think you could spend you whole life collecting in PA and never run out of new material. The key thing is where you are looking. I see from some of your photos that you are mainly in Southeastern PA. In general, the area between Gettysburg, York, Harrisburg, Reading, Philly, and Willimington DL is either heavily urbanized, suburbanized, or farmed. I'm sure that you can find interesting beetles in that region but as you start expanding your collection and knowledge base you need to start investigating the larger unbroken tracts of forest just north and west in PA from where you are collecting now. Also you should begin using more specialized techniques such as blacklighting and using pitfall traps and baits such as fermenting molasses. Just recently I saw an amazing PA collection from the State College area that would have even made most Florida and Arizona collectors green with envy!

 
Thanks!
Thank you very much! We have friends that live in Synder Co. Penna., near Richfield, and they have about 100 acres. I will probably be spending a few days collecting there this summer. I hope to collect quite a bit. Also, I have been blacklighting this past summer and I will continue. I do have four pitfall traps set at a park near our house, but I haven't gotten much yet. Two are unbaited in the sand and mud because I would really like to collect some Elaphrus and Omophron. Have you had much luck with them? One is baited with a dead mouse, which I got a nice pair of snail eating beetles in. The last one is baited with dog food. I haven't tried fermented molasses yet, but I'll try it! I checked out your photo of Chalcophora fortis and they are very nice:-) Thanks again for your help and feel free to e-mail me if you want.

Belidae?
I'm not sure if the professionals still put the "New York Weevil" in its own family apart from the Curculionidae. I don't think these are too common. I have also found them on the trunk of a Burr Oak sapling in Belgrade, Maine.

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