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Black Beetle - Tritoma erythrocephala

Black Beetle - Tritoma erythrocephala
York, Virginia, USA

Moved from Tritoma.


can be safely moved to Erotylinae
...although i would move it further, to Tritoma page

T. erythrocephala, according to Paul Skelley.

yes, Tritoma erythrocephala Lacordaire, 1842

This beetle seems too glossy to be a Trito*ma whereas Trip*lax appear much more glossy. Also, the size of this beetle is estimated at 2mm whereas all Trit*oma posted on bugguide reportedly range from 3mm to 5mm. Trip*lax are marginally smaller.

On the other hand, glossiness and estimated size aside, it does look remarkably like this beetle, which I assumed was a Trit*oma humera*lis that missed out on its spot allotment. It was reared from a mushroom containing lots of Tri*toma larvae that matured into T. humeralis, hence my assumption. Perhaps a mama T. erythrocephala laid her eggs there too.

Boy am I foolish!
My story about the Tritoma larvae above is mostly bunk. I was missing some photos I took of the eclosed beetles that I just relocated today. On examining group shots of the beetles I was amazed to see that the eight T. humer*alis in the group that had died before they colored up (they were taking a strangely long time at it) were in fact not even erotylids but the Mushroom nitidul*id Pall*odes palli*dus that remains a natural teneral-looking tan-orange.

Far from collecting a monospecific batch of larvae from the mushroom there were at least two and possibly three similar-sized, similar-shaped beetle species.

the habitus suggests 'Tritoma' (+Pseudotritoma),
rather than 'Triplax'; size estimate (yet undocumented) does sound out of line though, i admit

Moved from Beetles.

I think Erotylidae based on antennae, color pattern, and tarsi, but with the reflections off the elytra it is difficult to say.


2mm perhaps. It was very tiny
2mm perhaps. It was very tiny and I didn't get the time to measure it. It almost looked like a flea beetle but..the thorax is black..

I don't think those antennae belong to a flea beetle.

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