Houdini beetle

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Friday 6 May 2011 16:44

I am fairly confident that the Ampedus I caught yesterday is the RDB3 Ampedus cinnabarinus, which is known from West Sussex but a great find all the same. It was about 13 mm long. I think you have to be pretty lucky to stumble across one of these. Sorry for the poor photograph but I'll explain why I didn't get a better one...

UPDATE 16/05/2011: It looks like the key in Joy isn't so great as Mark Telfer thinks that the specimen is probably Ampedus cardinalis not cinnabarinus. I'm not worried though as cardinalis is in fact RDB2! Watch this space for confirmation. Exciting stuff!
...I was poking around in a huge hollow oak tree, I had just found the unusual elytron featured yesterday when I watched a tineid moth fly into a hole at the base of the tree. I went in after it and saw the click beetle on the inside of the tree. I was rather excited and tried to get a photo of it at rest. A record shot really. As I was transferring it to a pot, like magic, it disappeared. I looked at the pot with the closed lid, it was not in there! It had 'clicked' its way out of the small glass vessel like a projectile weapon and I had lost one of the most significant finds of the year. I searched for 15 minutes and eventually found it in a pile of cuboidal red rot, just as I was about to give up. I new that this species would probably have been impossible to identify without a specimen so I was relieved to find it again and reluctant to try and get a better shot in case it vanished again. Please note I want to get this ID confirmed, but if I am right, that puts me on 3300 species!

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