The Bug Geek

Insects. Doing Science. Other awesome, geeky stuff.

Wood-boring beetle

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?


7 responses to “Wood-boring beetle

  1. MObugs41 March 13, 2010 at 10:28 PM

    definitely adorable, as only beetle larvae can be :o)

  2. Ted C. MacRae March 14, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    New one for me too. That distinctively shaped pronotum and V-shaped furcus on the head seem like it would be easy to identify, but I don’t have access to any of my books for the time being.

    There are so many beetle families whose larvae live in wood.

    • TGIQ March 15, 2010 at 7:18 AM

      I couldn’t even begin to tell you what the host was, either, other than “it was a hardwood species”. The tree had no branches left.

  3. Pete Yeeles March 15, 2010 at 6:21 PM

    Now, I love beetles… but I think you’re pushing it with the caption in the last photo! Awww is the last thing to pop into my head hehe!

    Loving all the recent field trip blogging, good stuff.

    • TGIQ March 15, 2010 at 6:46 PM

      Awwww, come on! How could you not love that little face? Well, I suppose it might be an aquired taste, but I think it’s pretty sweet. (Although my wife has other ideas about what it looks like, none of which are PG-13 *snort*)

      I can’t wait until the snow finally melts and the REAL field season starts, this blog will be a-rockin’! Actually, I’m REALLY looking forward to the discoveries I’ll be making (and sharing) this summer during my stay in the arctic North…woot!

  4. Pingback: First Beetles of 2010 (Part 1) « FallToClimb

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