12 May 2010

Holding up an Odontotaenius disjunctus

I found this relatively large beetle inside a large rotten log while searching for snails in Great Falls Park last weekend. It appears to be an Odontotaenius disjunctus. Rotting logs are indeed their normal abodes.

They have a small horn on top of their heads that is difficult to notice. In fact, I didn't see it in the field. Only after I read that one of their vernacular names was horned passalus did I examine the pictures carefully and then noticed the horn. It is marked with an arrow in the next picture that shows the beetle crawling at the tips of my fingers.


Julia said...

Ooh, I love that shaggy orange fluff on the legs.

Tom said...

Very cool- In all my adventures, I have found this species once- on a rotten log in a forest on North Bass Island, in the middle of Lake Erie. If I'm remembering correctly, I think these guys are also colonial groups live together in rotten logs.

Kevin Bonham said...

I kept two specimens of our local passalid species as pets for over a year before one of them died (presumably of old age). I then released the other (with its very large pet mite!) as they are social insects and I did not want to keep it alone. The ones I kept (Pharochilus politus) looked much like these but minus the horns and the fluff. Passalids are wonderful creatures that communicate by sound and I often listened to them doing so.