But what is this particular beetle? Can you guess? Here are some pics:
Here is another.
And finally, here they are dancing the day away...or eating a most unappetizing lunch, in the mind of this humble heterotroph.
Helpful moving bugs of mystery from TheDirtOnSoil on Vimeo.
A friend of a friend,
- almost all moist environments throughout the world: under leaf litter, inside mushrooms(!), decaying trees, burrows, caves... seashores.
- Many help reduce populations of insect pests such as mites, biting flies, mosquitoes, and fleas.
- Their presence in carrion can help forensic entomologists.
- With one exception (Paederus and its close kinfolk), they are not pests. But even Paederus have redeeming qualities. Yes, touching Paederus beetles may cause us dermatitis, but their toxin pederin is used for its therapeutic effects. AND some Paederus species are valuable predators of crop pests.
- Finally, Staphylinidae form a substantial part of the world's biodiversity.(source link)
The hard outer wings of a beetle or other insect. Elytra help protect the insect.
Thorax: The middle section of an insect's body. The legs and wings attach here.
Definitions courtesy of Fairfax County Public Schools.
P.S. Ooh look: a lesson plan on decomposition!