Monday, March 7, 2016

Carding beetles

It's one of those jobs that any coleopterist has to get to grips with and one that gets easier the more one does it..... allegedly.

I have to admit that I secretly enjoy it but I still find beetles under 5mm a real chore and struggle to get all their bits in perfect symmetry.

A couple of things prompted this post. I've recently been finishing last year's backlog of beetles from the fridge in readiness for the new season that is now upon us and I will say that I'm (sadly) rather excited about a few imminent days in the field pootling (or should that be pootering) about on my hands and knees.

I was taking some pics down the microscope of a beetle that I was having trouble with. In retrospect it was an easy beetle, but I just couldn't make out a couple of key details to clinch the ID. In this case an elytral pore near the scutellum. The beetle in question was a Calodromius spilotus, collected from some recently pollarded willow in my garden.

I also found a couple of staphs on a recent trip to Cornwall which I have duly carded and put to one side while I await the more expensive of the 2 of Derek Lott's staph books.

The other thing that has prompted this post is a video that was recently posted on the UK Beetles Facebook page by Mark Telfer all about his carding technique. Worth a watch. Happy carding!