29 July 2011
27 July 2011
26 July 2011
01 July 2011
I am working on a project this summer to document the beetles that make use of slime flux habitats. These are wet tree wounds that are unable to heal over due to infection by numerous bacteria and fungi that are toxic to the wood. Because of this they can last for many years and provide a great habitat for many diptera and coleoptera.
Very little work has been done on this habitat. Sokoloff discussed what he found in this habitat and compared it to the species collected in bannana traps. However, his work was all done in one place during one summer in California. Furthermore, his focus at the time was primarily on Drosophila. In the realm of beetles there have been a few papers that mentioned the habitat as the obligatory niche for Nosodendron unicolor. As well as a cursory description by Brett Ratcliffe from 1970 saying that he collected a great assortment of beetles at a slime flux in Japan. I decided that documenting beetle diversity in this habitat would be a good side project to work on this summer and it gives me an excuse to do some extra collecting.
As much fun as the collecting is the real work is in identifying all of the specimens that I am finding. Not surprisingly one of the most common families that I have been running into is Nitidulidae. To identify these guys I am starting out with the key in American Beetles this gets me to the genus but from their it is a bit tougher. Below are the references that I have been using with some success. If you have any pointers to an important paper that I have missed please let me know.
Parsons, C.T. 1943. A Revision of Nearctic Nitidulidae (Coleoptera) Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 92(3):121-278
Parry, R.H., H.F. Howden. 1975. A New Species of Colopterus from Florida (Coleoptera, Nitidulidae) Coleopterists Bull. 29(4): 275-279
Connell, W.A. 1984. Nearctic Nitidulidae-synonymy and additions since Parsons' revision. Coleopterists Bull. 38(2):160-164
Cline, A.R. 2003. A new sap beetle (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) to the United States with a revised key to the Camptodes Erichson occuring in America North of Mexico.
Connell, W.A. 1977. A key to Carpophilus sap beetles associated with stored foods in the United States. Cooperative Plant Pest Report 2: 398-404.
Also the websites: