A RARE BEETLE NEW TO VIRGINIA

By Arthur V. Evans

Xylophilus crassicornis Muona. © 2011, A.V. Evans

My insect survey at the VCU Rice Center continues to reveal species that are rarely collected and/or newly recorded for the Commonwealth of Virginia. While sorting through dozens of trap samples containing thousands of insects, I recently discovered three specimens of a rarely collected false click beetle (Eucnemidae), Xylophilus crassicornis. This collection represents the first records for the genus and species in Virginia.

Xylophilus crassicornis was first described by Finnish entomologist Jyriki Muona in 2000 from a single female specimen collected from Maryland in 1902. The specimen was located in the collection of the Entomology Department at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. A second specimen from Alambama was identified last year. The VCU Rice Center specimens, the sex of which are yet unknown, measure 2.8-4.0 mm and were collected from Malaise traps in May that were placed just northwest of the administrative building and among the vernal pools off Kimages Road.

Malaise trap. © 2010, A.V. Evans

Although relatively little is known of their habits and distribution, false click beetles probably play an important role in the interactions between trees, fungi, and forest regeneration. Further study of their biology may suggest their use as important indicators of forest diversity.

References

Hoffman, R.L., R.L. Otto, and R. Vigneault. 2009. An annotated list of the false click beetles of Virginia (Coleoptera: Eucnemidae). Banisteria 34: 25-32.

Muona, J. 2000. A revision of the Nearctic Eucnemidae. Acta Zoologica Fennica 212: 1-106.

© 2011, A.V. Evans

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3 Responses to “A RARE BEETLE NEW TO VIRGINIA”

  1. Hi there. Just discovered your blog – some great posts.

    I’m involved with running a 3 year project in the UK called Plants for Bugs. We’re essentially looking at the influence of different planting shemes (from British natives to exotics) on invertebrates. If you’d care to take a look at our webpages and my blog, I’d welcome some feedback – visit http://www.rhs.org.uk/plants4bugs

    2010 was our first year of sampling from which we’ve already identified 30 species of ground beetle. Perhaps nothing as rare as your false click beetle but there’s time yet!

  2. [...] Bugging You? – A Rare Beetle New to Virginia: “My insect survey at the VCU Rice Center continues to reveal species that are rarely [...]

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