Friday Beetle Blogging: Omoglymmius wrinkled bark beetle

From the steaming jungles of north Queensland, a beetle looking as if cast from plastic:

Omoglymmius sp. - wrinkled bark beetle (Carabidae). Cape Tribulation, Queensland, Australia

This odd creature, a wrinkled bark beetle, is a specialized predator of slime moulds. Although at first glance they don’t appear related, wrinkled bark beetles are actually highly modified ground beetles.

***update: Since a number of you have asked, here is one reason why I consider wrinkled bark beetles to be modified carabids:

3-gene molecular phylogeny of Adephagan beetles. Modified from Maddison et al (2009). Rhysodines nest well within Carabidae.

photo details:
Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 7D
ISO 200 f/13, 1/200 sec
diffuse twin flash

literature: Maddison D.R., Moore W., Baker M.D., Ellis T.M., Ober K.A., Cannone J.J., and Gutell R.R. (2009). Monophyly of terrestrial adephagan beetles as indicated by three nuclear genes (Coleoptera: Carabidae and Trachypachidae). Zoologica Scripta, 38(1):43-62.

8 thoughts on “Friday Beetle Blogging: Omoglymmius wrinkled bark beetle”

  1. When you say “predator” I had this vision of them tracking, chasing and bringing down the slime molds to for a living 🙂

    Didnt know that they ate slime molds, now I do, thanks!

  2. I’m not at all up to date on my beetle taxonomy – is Rhysosidae no longer a valid family? I see you’ve labeled this as a carabid.

      1. The literature carries both interpretations, but people seem to be converging on Rhysodinae as a carabid subfamily. Work we did at the University of Arizona using several nuclear genes was unequivocal that rhysodines sit well within the carabids.

  3. I’m probably not remembering this correctly, but don’t ground beetles have 11 antennae segments? This one seems to. The striation on the elytra is also very similar to a lot of Carabidae.

    Apologies if that’s all horribly wrong. I’m still learning! And I don’t have access to phylogenetic information. 😉

  4. Interesting. I just keyed out a lathridiid beetle (Cucujoidea) from under snow in December in Alberta, Enicmus tenuicornis (LeConte, 1878), that also feeds on slime molds (or at least on their conidia). Pity the poor slime mold: from steaming jungles to frozen parklands, beetles are hunting them down.

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