Alaus oculatus belongs to the family Elateridae, a group commonly known as click beetles. These insects get their name from the unique clicking mechanism they all share. When one of these beetles finds itself upside down, it will arch so only the tip of its head and abdomen touch the ground, then quickly straighten itself. As it does this, a spine on their underside snaps into a groove on the thorax, launching the beetle into a flip and causing the distinctive clicking noise.
The eyed click beetle can be found throughout the deciduous forests and woodlands of North and Central America. The beetles are named for the spots on their back, which are commonly believed to ward off predators. While the adults of this species feed only on nectar, the larvae are carnivorous, feeding on other beetle larvae they find residing in rotting logs. There are 11 eyed click beetles with barcodes on BOLD. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150
Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:
Not all weevils are evil, but unfortunately this species of weevil is quite a pest. The black vine weevil has been found to be a pest of over 100 different wild and cultivated plants. Unfortunately, this species is not the lesser of two evils since its larval and adult stage are both considered pests. Continue reading “111/150: See no Weevil, Hear no Weevil, Speak no Weevil”→
Cobblestone tiger beetles (Cicindela marginipennis) live in small, divided communities in North America, and are endangered in Canada, with an estimated 5,000 individuals remaining. These beetles live in only two areas along the Saint John River in New Brunswick, as they need specialized river habitats with large tree covered islands and sprawling cobblestone beaches to thrive. Continue reading “11/150: Damned by the dam-The Cobblestone Tiger Beetle”→
At the end of October, Gerry Blagoev and I flew across the country to visit the Royal British Columbia Museum (RBCM) in Victoria, British Columbia. We were on a quest for specimens! Identified specimens, that is. Most of the time our collections team is busy finding specimens out in the field and preparing them for DNA barcoding. Once they have a sequence, we determine what the taxonomy of our specimen is based on its sequence. But how do we get to the point where we can determine the taxonomy? How do we know this taxonomy is right? By going to the experts! Continue reading “Visiting Victoria”→