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Hybrid Darkling Beetle?


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So here's something some of you might find interesting.

 

While out roadcruising a few weeks ago, I collected several Eleodes suturalis and hispilabris. I also collected what I thought at first to be the most enormous suturalis I'd ever seen. While all the other suturalis I was catching were between 22-25mm, this one was 33m! On closer inspection now, I think it may be a hybrid between the two or a new species entirely. The elytra and pronotum are sort of intermediate between the more rounded hispilabris and the flared suturalis. Also, it can't be seen in the photos, but the purple coloration also exists on the "ventral-facing" surfaces of the elytra, which I've never seen on any individual of these two species.

 

Finally, though it is in with several males of both species (which readily mount females of the opposite species), I have yet to see any males show interest in this one.

 

L to R: suturalis, unknown, hispilabris

IMG_6312.jpg

 

L to R: Unknown, suturalis, hispilabris

IMG_6314.jpg

 

Top to Bottom: hispilabris, unknown, suturalis

IMG_6315.jpg

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@Ryan - You're so right. I've never come across acutus anywhere in KS before, and this was the only one out of about 100 Eleodes I saw on the road. But yeah, it fits the bill perfectly. I really need to find some more now.

 

@Inle - They're a very active and interesting display beetle, highly recommended.

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