Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Colydiidae key and Tephrochlamys rufiventris

The illustrated key to the twelve species of wood-boring beetles of family Colydiidae, translated from the German can now be found at https://sites.google.com/site/mikesinsectkeys/Home/keys-to-coleoptera/colydiidae.  I was awaiting permission from the copyright holder of one of the images before publishing it.  If you have any specimens of the family please give the key a go.  I'm sorry about the first couplet as this involves viewing the underside of the beetle which might be difficult depending on how the specimen is mounted.  Please send me any comments on how it can be improved.

Some slightly larger species are now turning up in the water trap with a male Tephrochlamys rufiventris illustrated today.  This has been the commonest member of family Heleomyzidae in my garden.  The family is characterised by the bristles along the leading edge of the wing; some are stronger and then there are weaker ones in between.  There are several other families with this arrangement.  The Heleomyzidae are identified by the combination of a strong pair of bristles at the front of the mouth opening (called vibrissae), and a bristle on the top surface of the tibia of the back leg (you can just about see that on the photograph).  To identify this species combine the colour pattern with the presence of two backwardly curved bristles on top of the head above the eyes, a distinct bristle on the head below the lower back edge of the eye and the long bristles on the top of the thorax starting behind the suture that crosses the thorax.

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