March 13, 2010
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I piled the dogs in the car and drove down to a small “road” that branches off my own. It is technically a “road” (it has a sign, a name, and can even be found on a map), but it’s never seen a plow and is not much more than a 4-wheeler trail running through the bush and later a corn field. In other words: a great place to walk (not so great to drive, although I did for about a kilometer or so in my sedan, until I was convinced that the next icy/slushy rut was going to = one Geek and three dogs stuck in a ditch). We piled out, the dogs tore off and immediately found an ancient deer carcass (roll, snack, shake, GLEE)…I sighed and went looking for bugs.
I found some fresh-looking larval galleries. I then noticed a small oval-shaped area that was distinct from any gallery and seemed packed with fresh “sawdust”. I took my knife a poked some of the dust out…then carefully cut off a bit of wood…I excavated a bit more…and a bit more…until this little face was looking back at me:
This is another new critter for me. The head capsule has a very distinct, dark “V” shape in the middle, and the pronotum (the segment directly behind the head) is semi-circular and much wider than the head at the top, where it tapers into lightly pointed tips. The margin closest to the head is thickened and a little bit “rolled up”-looking, which you can see better from the front.
Head and pronotum
Pretty cute, don’t you think?