Saturday, October 5, 2019

Interesting Introduced Invert in Idaho...

Well, at least I THINK it's an introduced species, the images I submitted to Bugguide have yet to be properly identified...

Anyways, a week ago while going on a walk, I turned over a wooden plank on the ground and found a small, black Tenebrionid. At first glance I thought it was a tiny Coniontis adult, but upon further inspection I realized it was some other genus I'd never seen before... So of course I collected it, and did some research. 😄

It looked very similar to Blapstinus in appearance, but was too big to be any of the species common here, and wasn't as hairy either. After searching thouroughly through Bugguide, I'm pretty sure the only candidate is Opatroides punctulatus, a species native to the Mediterranean and Asia that was introduced to the US somewhat recently. 😯 They've been found in California and Nevada, and if my beetle really is O.punctulatus, then they've apparently reached Idaho... Interestingly enough though, they don't appear to be grain pests, preferring habitats similar to those of Blapstinus spp., (to which they are closely related).

For now I've placed this individual in a small, well ventilated deli cup with coconut fiber as the substrate, over a CM thick. There are a couple eggcrate pieces for hides, and one small area is kept moist, the rest is bone dry. I'll be offering chick feed as the main diet. Hopefully it's a gravid female, as I haven't been able to find any more...

Here are some pics:

If I get a confirmation or correction to my ID, I'll be sure to let you all know, if this is Opatroides though, then this may mark the first recorded sighting of them in Idaho... They don't seem that common yet, and hopefully it stays that way, as I personally find our native Tenebrionid fauna much more interesting!

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, I hope everyone enjoyed, thanks for reading, I'll see you all next time! 😉

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