Ornaments on the carabid family tree

Species currently in the Australian genus Leiradira are some mighty fine looking beetles. What you can’t see well in the habitus images below are the cool modifications of the mouth parts for eating some kind of special food. Some have serrated blade-like teeth on the mandible and an array of sharp spines on the lacina. We have no observations of them feeding, but I am betting on snails and slugs, but maybe millipedes. These species are found in the wet forests of eastern Australia, especially Queensland. Many of the specimens in the images are from the QM. Click on the images to see the them in full-sized glory.

habitus_Page_1habitus_Page_2

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About Kip Will

I'm an insect systematist with expertise in carabid beetles, who is always happiest in the bush.
This entry was posted in Carabids, Coleoptera, Entomology, Pterostichines. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Ornaments on the carabid family tree

  1. Jon Quist says:

    Their mandibles share a likeness to that of Promecognathus, which would say millipedes, this is just a vague guess though. If I’m ever a millionaire, I’ll pay Australia a collecting visit.

  2. Kip Will says:

    Perhaps a little less dramatic than Promecognathus, but maybe. A few thousand $$ will get you a great trip to Australia. I say don’t wait to be a millionaire, unless that will happen soon.

  3. Pingback: Following T.G. Sloane « pterostichini

  4. Pingback: Australia: Fine Wine and Fine beetles (part 2) | pterostichini

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