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Photo#47834
Sad-eyed twitcher - Orchesia castanea

Sad-eyed twitcher - Orchesia castanea
Nashua, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, USA
March 18, 2006
Size: about 5.5 mm
Photographed about 6 PM April 13, 2006. The beetle has gained a darker hue.

Okay, you see the "sad" eyes, but what about the twitching part? I was amazed as I advanced on this beetle with a wet camelhair watercolor brush in attempt to pick it up (a very useful technique for picking up small-to-tiny insects) when it propelled itself one to several inches away by apparently twitching its abdomen violently. It did this repeatedly, apparently on sight of the advancing paintbrush tip. I could not tell for sure how it was achieving this propulsion, which I at first thought was static-induced. They may be an alternative explanation to abdominal twitching...

Images of this individual: tag all
Sad-eyed twitcher - Orchesia castanea Sad-eyed twitcher - Orchesia castanea Sad-eyed twitcher - Orchesia castanea Sad-eyed twitcher - Orchesia castanea Sad-eyed twitcher - Orchesia castanea Sad-eyed twitcher - Orchesia castanea Sad-eyed twitcher - Orchesia castanea Sad-eyed twitcher - Orchesia castanea Sad-eyed twitcher - Orchesia castanea Sad-eyed twitcher - Orchesia castanea Sad-eyed twitcher - Orchesia castanea

Moved
Moved from Orchesia.

Melandryidae: Orchesia sp.
Looks like an Orchesia, and one of the species does have particularly long tibial spurs.

 
Thank you Don and Phillip.
I see the UNH checklist for New Hampshire lists three spp. of Orchesia, and I'd say this beetle is not O. ovata, which is probably a bit more beamish than this one.

 
Don't be so fast
Actually the "ovata" refers to the apical segment of the maxillary palpus, which in one of your other pictures looks very much like "ovata" as I recall it. The form of the maxillary palpi is very important in recognizing species in this group, and you did provide a nice picture of it. However, I must trek to the collection to be sure - one of these days.

 
link
sounds good --> photo

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