Monday Night Mystery

What's going on here?

Five points for naming the organism, and five points for the behavior.

More like this

This looks like it could be painful. What is it? Five points to the first person to name the organism, and five for the structure. The cumulative points winner for the month of May will win either 1) any 8x10 print from my insect photo gallery, or 2) a guest blog post on the (safe-for-work) topic…
Alright, Sherlock.  What's going on here? Five points each for the identity of the big round thing, for the insect at the top, and for the insect at the side. Ten points for describing the story. And a freebie point to anyone who comes up with an idea for what to do with all these points. This…
One of the most compelling argument that the story of Noah's Ark is made up is the implausibility of having animals like tigers and lions together with animals like lambs and deer on the same boat for very long. The big carnivores would eventually eat the little cute furry things. The bunnies…
My students are also blogging here: My undergrad encounters Developmental Biology Miles' Devo Blog Tavis Grorud’s Blog for Developmental Biology Thang’s Blog Heidi’s blog for Developmental Biology Chelsae blog Stacy’s Strange World of Developmental Biology Thoughts of…

I expect that it is a case of 'reflex bleeding' to deter predators, but I don't know which beetle species this is in particular. Maybe a lady beetle?

Yeah, I would say reflex bleeding but it doesn't look like a coccinellid-- adult beetles are almost always biungulate. Or is it that a clever illusion? Setae look like a spider or a mordellid.

By Ainsley S (not verified) on 15 Feb 2010 #permalink

Im going to go with reflex bleeding in a blister beetle (Epicauta?).

By Pete Yeeles (not verified) on 16 Feb 2010 #permalink

Autohaemorrhaging, yes. Coccinellidae? There are some pretty hairy lady beetles but there also seems to be a well-developed tibial spur (which I'm not used to seeing) and this critter just seems to "leggy" to be a coccinellid. Blister beetle is a more likely candidate...I agree with Peter's Epicauta and I'll raise him a pardalis.

Hmmm. Certainly looks like reflexive bleeding, but what has both monodactyl claws and semi-scale-like hairs? Beetles are best known for reflexive bleeding (coccinellids, blister, darkling, lampyrid, chrysomelid etc.), although I think I read that even froghoppers can do it, but my impression of insects is that they have two tarsal claws. Looks like a spider to me, but spiders are usually bidactyl too. Opilionids, millipedes and centipedes, and proturans have a single claw, but none of these look right.

I suppose I should guess a likely cocinellid 9like Stethorus) or a weevil, but I'm going to throw logic to the winds and guess a jumping spider. It looks spidery to me, people like to photography jumping spiders (and perhaps Alex managed to overcome his phobia for a moment), and perhaps that single claw is on a palp (which would make sense). This could be my first trail of false logic of the day. On to the next.