28 June 2011

Cool Pselaphinae

The staphylinid subfamily Pselaphinae is a species rich group of roughly 9,000 species. This subfamily was once considered a family of its own. The life history of Pselaphinae are poorly known though most are thought to be predaceous. Pselaphinae are called ant-loving beetles because many species are inquilines of ant nests but many other species are found in leaf litter and other organic detritus. The one pictured below was extracted from a berlese funnel loaded with decaying wood. The wood was from a local park in Arligton, Texas. The photo was taken using a microscope in our lab and the attached nikon ccd. Once I took the picture I followed a lot of the directions that were given in a recent article in the Scarab Newsletter by Jocelyn Gill
. She does a great job describing the process that she uses to producer her photos for Henry Howden. She describes the whole process step by step in Photoshop. However, I was able to follow along and do most of what she mentions using GIMP.


  1. Very nice picture! As I study only Pselaphinae, I would like to get more details about the material used.
    Looking forward to hearing from you soon.