Posted by Graeme Lyons , Wednesday, 14 March 2012 07:09
Pan-species listing has taken a back seat for the last week or two. Some tight deadlines at work have meant I have hardly gotten out of the office. This does not worry me though as a) the field season will be upon me soon and b) who needs to go out into the field when your colleagues come into the office covered in beetles? I found this staph on Alex's arm. I am starting to get to recognise this staph in the field now, I see it quite regularly at Woods Mill. It's Anotylus rugosus and is a smart looking thing under the microscope. Using Derek Lott's key to the Staphylinidae (part 5) it keys out very easily indeed. Almost too easily for a staph. Can you tick a species in this way? Is it not the birding equivalent of 'ship-assisted'? Ah, who cares. I've seen it when tussocking plenty of times now!
It has a few really nice features like the crinkly (crenulate) edge to the pronotoum (above) and the strange square patch of 'micro-sculpture' on the front of its head.
Panic ye not, my deadlines come to an end on Thursday and Saturday this week so at the first opportunity (Sunday) I plan to spend the day at Rye Harbour with the warden and my good friend Chris Bentley. If I don't get at least one new species then, I am going to quit natural history and take up golf. Yeah right...