Recent literature – The Coleopterists Bulletin

Volume 64, No. 4 - December 2010

I returned to the office this week after spending two weeks in Brazil to find the December 2010 of The Coleopterists Bulletin in my inbox.  I don’t think there is another journal that I look forward to more eagerly than this one (with the possible exception of CICINDELA) – with each issue, I know that regardless of whether it contains any papers in my priority groups of interest (jewel beetles, longhorned beetles, and tiger beetles), it will nevertheless contain well-written articles presenting results of high-quality research on nothing but beetles – pure elytral ecstasy!  This latest issue, however, is a real keeper.  Gracing the cover is a stunning image of the South African jewel beetle species Julodis viridipes, photographed by my good friend and world jewel beetle expert Chuck Bellamy, and inside are three tiger beetle papers and two longhorned beetle papers – it’s almost as if the issue were produced just for me.

Friend and colleague Mathew Brust takes credit for two of the three tiger beetle papers.  In the first (Brust et al. 2010), he compares the efficiency of the three main methods for collecting tiger beetle larvae: fishing, stab-and-grab, and excavation. They found fishing to be the most efficient and least damaging of the three methods, an important finding for tiger beetle conservation where the availability of efficient, non-lethal survey methods is critical.  (What are “fishing” and “stab-and-grab” you ask?  Read the paper.)  In the second paper (Brust and Hoback 2010), Matt teams up with University of Nebraska entomologist Wyatt Hoback to provide new distributional records and larval descriptions of Nebraska’s tiger beetle, Cicindela nebraskana.  Ironically, this species is quite rare in it’s namesake state, and their findings give clues about the habitats in which it is most likely to occur (I had the good fortune to contribute a small amount of data).  In the third tiger beetle paper, Robert Richardson (2010) notes an overwhelming preponderance of left-superior mandibles in two species of Omus and speculates on the selective pressures that might operate on different tiger beetle clades to produce such a finding – a truly interesting read.

As for longhorned beetles, Sánchez-Martínez et al. (2010) report the utilization of living oaks by an apparently disjunct population of the marvelously beautiful Crioprosopus magnificus in central Mexico, complete with photographs of the larval workings and detailed emergence data.  (I am also reminded that I have a post on this very species that I need to put up).  Closer to home, Terence Schiefer and Patricia Newell (2010) independently recognized the existence of an undescribed subspecies of the red-edged saperda, Saperda lateralis, in the lower Mississippi Delta Region of the southeastern U.S., which together they describe as S. lateralis rileyi (named for Edward Riley, indefatigable collector of beetles, and collector of much of the type material).  Okay, I know what you’re thinking – “A new subspecies of S. lateralis? No way!”  Well, I was skeptical also when I first saw the title – several untenable and no longer recognized subspecies have already been described for this broadly distributed and variable species.  However, after noting the nature of the diagnostic characters, seeing the photographs, and studying their partially allopatric distributions, I was convinced.

In addition to the above papers, there were also a number of interesting book reviews in the issue, including The Chiasognathinae of the Andes, reviewed by M. J. Paulsen, A Field Guide of the Dynastidae Family of the South of South Americano access, reviewed by Ronald M. Young, and three book reviews by our beloved Art Evans: Illustrated Identification Guide to Adults and Larvae of Northeastern North American Ground Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) [including tiger beetles]; The African Dung Beetle Genera; and Weevils of South Carolina (Coleoptera: Nemonychidae, Attelabidae, Brentidae, Ithyceridae, Curculionidae)no access.


Brust, M. L. and W. W. Hoback. 2010. Larval description and new Nebraska distribution records for Nebraska’s tiger beetle, Cicindela nebraskana Casey (Coleoptera: Carabidae). The Coleopterists Bulletin 64(4):341-346.

Brust, M. L., W. W. Hoback, and J. J. Johnson. 2010. Fishing for tigers: A method for collecting tiger beetle larvae holds useful applications for biology and conservation. The Coleopterists Bulletin 64(4):313-318.

Richardson, R. K. 2010. Mandibular chirality in tiger beetles (Carabidae: Cicindelinae). The Coleopterists Bulletin 64(4):386-387.

Sánchez-Martínez, G., O. Moreno-Rico, and M. E. Siqueiros-Delgado. 2010. Crioprosopus magnificus Leconte (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in Aguascalientes, Mexico: Biological observations and geographical distribution. The Coleopterists Bulletin 64(4):319-328.

Schiefer, T. L. and P. Newell. 2010. A distinctive new subspecies of Saperda lateralis F. (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) from the southeastern United States. The Coleopterists Bulletin 64(4):329-336.

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2011

13 thoughts on “Recent literature – The Coleopterists Bulletin

  1. Chitin is a passion!
    Kudos to all those contributing!
    The Monograph was especially interesting in thinking about cross Order mimicry!
    Anxious for the next edition!

  2. Pingback: An Inordinate Fondness #13 « The Dispersal of Darwin

  3. Ted,
    Just finished “An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles.” Despite my devotion to odonates, I’m starting to feel some coleopteran stirrings within. What are the “must-have” books for a fledgling coleopterist? I only have the Peterson Guide, as well as my 20-year-old entomology insect guide, with keys to the families. I see that I CANNOT afford Arnett’s “American Beetles”.

    • Always happy to welcome an ode-chaser to the dark side 🙂

      For starters, the Peterson Guide by Richard White is the book to have – with perhaps 15-20,000 species in our state alone, you’ll want to start out by getting familiar with the multitude of families (no need to get bogged down with species-level IDs at this point). Some families will become easily recognizable right away, others still give even me trouble figuring out. For common and easily recognizable species, I hear the Kaufman field guide is very good.


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