Friday Beetle Blogging: Temnoscheila Bark-Gnawing Beetle

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Temnoscheila Bark-Gnawing Beetle, Arizona
Trogossitidae

This colorful insect arrived to a blacklight in my backyard a couple of years back, right when I first moved to Tucson. Previously I’d encountered Temnoscheila only under the bark of dead trees, where they apparently prey on the larvae of other beetles. I’ve always wondered why a beetle that spends most of its time secluded in the dark would need such a brilliant metallic sheen, if the color serves a purpose or is just a spandrel. In any case, this beetle ended up donating its body to science. It is one of several representative trogossitids we are using in the Beetle Tree of Life project to infer the evolutionary history of all beetles.

photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon 20D
f/14, 1/250 sec, ISO 100, indirect strobe in white box.

levels adjusted in Photoshop.

8 thoughts on “Friday Beetle Blogging: Temnoscheila Bark-Gnawing Beetle”

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  3. my baby brother got bitten by it and i want 2 know if there are any side effects cuz he is very allergic 2 anything and everything (over exaggerated) he barly got bitten at 6:30pm

    1. This beetle has the muscles to deliver a rather hard bite in self-defense, but as it does not inject anything into the wound (venom, saliva, etc) there should be no risk of allergic response, swelling, or lasting pain associated with a bite.

      So, not like a bee sting or spider bite. It’s just a pinch.

  4. Hello, I have a photo of a bug that a friend took. I would like to know what t ype of bug it is. I think it is a beetle. Could I send the photo to you for identification? BTW Lovely photos!!!!!
    Thanks,
    Faith

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