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Buprestids? - Aphanisticus cochinchinae

Buprestids? - Aphanisticus cochinchinae
Charleston County, South Carolina, USA
October 7, 2006
Size: 3mm
These appear to be Buprestids... an ideas on genus or species

Moved from Taphrocerus.

...I think Joshua's ID is correct. Aphanisticus hasn't yet been recorded from SC, but there's no reason to believe it hasn't expanded there by now. I've collected scads of them in south Texas on Paspalum lividum (Graminaceae) near Brownsville, and it is also now known from Florida.

Taphrocerus spp.
I would have to say Taphrocerus too. But I have no clue to the species, this genus is not an easy one. I do know that these are a Taphrocerus species that I have not collected. I know for sure that I have two species and possibly a third. I will try to get pics posted of those. Ray, I would be interested in exchanging some buprestids I have for these if you are willing. Just contact me and let me know by email, I have several species that I would exchange for these.

Aphanisticus cochinchinae seminulum Obenberger
Ray, I have to take back my comment about these buprestids you photographed. I was skeptical at first and agreed that they were Taphrocerus. What threw me off was the shape of the head. I have been searching images and other buprestid info like crazy to figure out the ID of your bups. I do believe that these are the introduced sugarcane leafminer Aphanisticus cochinchinae seminulum. Its a big name for a little beetle. I have never seen a photo of one untill today and it is only supposed to be in Hawaii, Florida and Texas. Your's are a identical to the pic that I have of this species. To be sure, I'll send your pick to Rick Westcott to confirm my ID. He is the one that IDed it in 2000. Let's see what Rick says and I let you know.
If you ever run across any more I would love to get some of these little bups. Sugarcane is the host, is that what you found these on?

I appreciate your efforts... I didn't think these little guys would be this big of a hassle! I collected these near Charleston in mixed vegetation. I swept through a variety of low-gorwing plants. I cannot recall if the sweep net passed through sugarcane although I don't know if this plant grows wild in this part of the world? On another note, this place was called Dixie Plantation or something and it might be interesting if this plantation actually grew sugarcane in the past and some of it survives? I will def be back there when it warms up and I'll see if I can find these beetles or sugarcane or both.

New State Record
Added in Jewel Beetles of South Carolina

Any possibility
of shooting these in daylight? Their colors would be much more vivid, making it easier to identify them. Also, if you are shooting digital, try taking a dozen or more shots to get one that's in the best focus. With many subjects I have to back off a tiny smidge after the focus has been set to get the top of the insect in focus.

Another trick, especially if you don't have a closeup flash attachment, is to place darker specimens on a dark background. That way the camera adjusts to the correct exposure for the insect.

I apologize but these past few I've been posting were made through a microscope and the lighting was not that good. I did not want to artificially enhance the images and possibly make them worse colorwise. My camera cannot focus on such small insects. I wish I could get my hands on a good quality photo-microscope, like one that is attached to some sort of software. not like I can afford it!

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