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Meet the Pselaphinae

A Snapshot of Pselaphine Beetle Diversity: plates from Raffray’s Étude sur les Psélaphides (1890)

Guest post by Joseph Parker, Coleopterist, Columbia University.

If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to walk through a rainforest, you’ll probably have noticed huge numbers of ants patrolling the ground at your feet. Ants dominate forest environments, dismembering other arthropods, harvesting honeydew from plant sucking bugs, and waging war on neighbouring colonies.

But amongst the ants exists another, far more poorly known group of creatures… a group of beetles called Pselaphinae (SEH-LA-FIN-EE). In terms of species richness they rival—and may even surpass—ants. These beetles are remarkable, being one of the most morphologically diverse groups of organisms out there, with a seemingly endless range of bizarre body forms. Continue reading