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Toothed-Butt Beetle - Ips grandicollis

Toothed-Butt Beetle - Ips grandicollis
Inn at Afton, Rockfish Gap, Nelson County, Virginia, USA
October 9, 2011
A very small one with a rather distinctive rear end.

Images of this individual: tag all
Toothed-Butt Beetle - Ips grandicollis Toothed-Butt Beetle - Ips grandicollis

Moved from Ips.

Brad must be right

to you guys! Interesting one. "Ips" is a funny and short name...

even shorter in Greek... just two letters: ιψ

does it mean?

nobody seems to know for sure
'a kind of worm'(1)
tons of extinct names scattered all over the ancient sources have been recycled by European naturalists as Latinized generic names -- because the exact meaning is basically irrelevant if all you need is a unique string of symbols to apply to an object... so nobody cared about the original usage: any noun would do

Thank you for the mini-lesson! Sort of makes sense, though I'm too logical to name things randomly myself, as you may have noticed from my descriptive titles. ;-)

being descriptive --and logical-- does help
On several memorable occasions, a well-chosen, befitting name in a checklist helped me look in the right direction and eventually identify a photographed bug I've never seen before.
Coming up with really helpful names may be a tall order, though, as the number of described species continues to grow: the flaws of the nomenclature system currently in use make workers do they best to avoid homonymy, so to be on the safe side they try to invent specific epithets [=the second word of a binomen] not yet used within a whole bunch of related genera, or maybe ever in the animal kingdom. Moreover, when you deal with a huge genus (say, of hundreds and hundreds of species) you pretty much run out of options and do what you have to do, i.e. use all kinds of patronyms, toponyms, or just reshuffled letters (the latter approach is often used nowadays to produce generic names) –- thus leaving us with little to go on, ID-wise. There are also pitfalls in presuming scientific names to be descriptive: see, e.g., the map for Listronotus oregonensis (they do live in Oregon, but are rarely seen there); more striking examples abound, too – say, all-black variant may well prevail among individuals of a species whose name is tricolor, or a Brazilian bug first described from a mislabeled specimen may be named japonicus, and no one could do anything about that under the existing rules. But, hey, the same applies to common names as well: Guinea pigs aren’t pigs and don’t live in Guinea; ‘earwig’ is another notorious misnomer.

Thanks for the lesson! I do enjoy them. I guess that does make sense when you have hundreds and hundreds.

But sometimes you luck out and have the perfect one - traveling through Wyoming, I wondered to myself, "What are these yellow-headed blackbirds?" When I got somewhere with field guides, I went right to look them up and found - their common name: Yellow-headed Blackbird. It was a bit of a forehead-smacking moment.

people have fun, too: Titan titan (Ptiliidae) is one of the tiniest beetles [0.5 mm]

I love that!

i hear you
feels great when such things happen

Moved from Beetles. Ips sp. I suppose, but wait for an expert opinion.

Powder-post Beetle
Bostrichidae is the family name of these beetles....

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