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Photo#602775
Phalacropsis dispar (LeConte) - Phalacropsis dispar

Phalacropsis dispar (LeConte) - Phalacropsis dispar
Lee Vining, Mono County, California, USA
Size: 2.8 mm
Collected in 1980 on the pine stem rust fungus Peridermium stalactiforme on Pinus jeffreyi by David L. Nelson. These beetles feed on the aeciospores and sporogenic mycelium and virtually destroy the aecia they infest. They are considered a natural control agent of the fungus.
Note the large scutellum, lack of a sutural stria, and uniform brown coloration -- this character combination diagnoses this monotypic genus in North America.