Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Microscopic stuff

I revisited some of the beetles I had tried to ID last week, having obtained some assistance from folk on the Beetles UK FB pages.

Philonthus laminatus

I'd got confused in the key by the couplet which has the antennal insertion point on the upper part of the head (which I'd thought this was) but I think the photo shows how it is in fact lower down than that. I'm beginning to see that some of these Staphilinidae are possible, time to invest in the keys I think, although where they exist the online ones are pretty good. This beast was 11mm long, quite a large thing then.

Here's a better picture of Tachinus rufipes.

I should have got this right as I've identified it before.

I've been corrected on my woodlouse identification, which shows the perils of thinking you know, another House Sparrow / Redshank moment if you ask me... These are Common Shiny Woodlouse.

Oniscus asellus

And under the same bit of wood, Nebria brevicollis (it is always quite tricky to see the minute hairs on the dorsal surface of the hind tarsi), but the microsculpture of the elytra should be definitive, I really need to make an effort to find salina and compare them in life.

I added Cornu aspersum to the year list and found Ramalina fraxinea in the Wee Wood.

 Ramalina fraxinea - Wee Wood

Cornu aspersum - empty shell but I did find a full one too.

Huge amounts of water fell out of the sky on Saturday night and though Sunday was calm there were serious amounts of water on the land.

Track looking south with Hawthorn Hedge in the background.

Here's the Tough 4 with the flash diffuser fitted, that makes the macro work a bit easier.


Gibster said...

The microsculpture is quite strikingly different between Nebria brevicollis and N.salina, no mistaking it when you compare them side by side.

That whole antennal insertion thing is a pain, I've gone wrong there many, many times. You really need to ask yourself, can I see the antennae going into the head, actually see that point, or is it (even slightly) obscured by a bump or a ridge. If you're not quite sure, it's obscured!

Alastair said...

Thanks Gibster that's useful advice. I'd always avoided Staphs, thought they were impossible but new keys and a bit more determination on my part... I can see good opportunities for finding more new for county records, always a good reward.