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Beginner Beetle Description Series Part 5

I had just gotten back from a morning run, and I decided that I would sit in the sun and catch my breath. I sat there scrolling through my phone on my apartment steps when I felt a bug land on my shoulder. I looked over to see the smallest brown beetle I had ever seen. It was a small brown beetle that was approximately 4 millimeters in length and about 2 millimeters in width. The oblong-shaped beetle had a shield-shaped pronotum that curves downward and blends into the head and a very small scutellum that was almost fully surrounded by the thorax. The elytra were a light shade of brown, and the whole body of the beetle was lightly setose. The beetle had an almost indistinguishable pattern on the elytra, but it did look similar to a carpet beetle's coloration.

Fig. 1. The picture shows a beetle in the Superfamily Bostrichoidea and its defined features. Photo by N.Morrison/MYOPS

I had a tough time identifying this beetle because there are many different kinds of brown beetles. What made it so hard to identify was that I am unsure what family to place this beetle in. If I had to make a guess, I would place it in the family Ptinidae (Death-watch and Spider Beetles). My only concern with placing the beetle in this family is that my specimen's eyes are much smaller than the specimen in the family Ptinidae (Figure 2).

Fig. 2. The picture shows the bead-like antennae (moniliform), the eyes' location, and the size of the eyes. Photo by N.Morrison/MYOPS

The following is the taxonomic classification of a beetle in the Superfamily Bostrichoidea:

  • Domain - Eukarya or a cell with a true nucleus

  • Kingdom - Animalia

  • Phylum - Arthropoda or an invertebrate with a segmented body and jointed limbs

  • Class - Insect

  • Order – Coleoptera or sheathed wings

  • Suborder – Polyphaga (sternite not divided by coxa)

  • Superfamily – Bostrichoidea (Carpet, Powder-post and Death-watch Beetles)

  • Family –?

  • Genus –?

  • Species –?

If anyone has any idea of what this beetle might be, please let me know. I will continue to figure out the classification of this beetle and update it when I have it solved. Thank you for following along this week. Please like and subscribe.

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