Monday, October 6, 2014

Leaf Litter Staphylinids 2: Electric Boogaloo

I finished sorting through the rest of my Staphylinid samples today, over 50 samples in all. They're making more sense to me now, and soon I'll identify the morphospecies to their actual species. I feel confident about identifying a few more subfamilies now, including Osoriinae, Omaliinae, and Paederinae, of which the Osoriinae are the coolest.

Next I'll move onto either the ants, spiders, or centipedes. Probably the centipedes. For now, here are some more Staphylinid photos from my phone.

Scydmaeninae and Pselaphinae in the center, with Staphylininae (I think) surrounding them.

Three Pselaphinae boxed in by three Paederinae.

Tachypodinae, the crab-like rove beetles, surrounding Aleocharinae (?)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Leaf Litter Staphylinids

Back in June, I was collecting a lot of leaf litter for a small sampling project. I was trying to determine if collecting litter at different times over 24 hours would result in different groups of arthropods being collected at different abundances, and I've been sorting through the samples since then.

I'm about halfway done, and I'm now working on the Staphylinidae in my samples. Staphylinids are rove beetles, and they're the most numerous insect family, which makes them a bit intimidating. For now I'm sorting them down to subfamily, and they've proven to be pretty interesting. I'm excited to delve deeper into the family so I can identify the common species I'm collecting, and in pursuit of that goal, I took some photos today.

Most of the species I've seen so far have been in the subfamilies Tachyporinae, Staphylininae, Pselaphinae, and Scydmaeninae. They're common in my samples, but I've also seen a few others like Osoriinae and Steninae, which are a bit barrel-shaped or have huge eyes.

Since I don't too much info on all these groups yet, I'll leave you with the rest of the photos I snapped today so you get an idea for the various shapes Staphylinids take. I'm excited to see what else I find as I finish sorting these samples!