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Monday, July 23, 2012

Ground Beetle (Cypholoba graphipteroides)

Family Carabidae
I have for a long time been looking for someone to identify this beautiful beetle and this was done by the friendly Simon van Noort who is the Curator of Entomology at Iziko South African Museum.
This beetle is about 2cm in length.

Thank you Simon, it is greatly appreciated.
 The following information is an extract from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3332019/
 These beetles are conspicuous elements of savanna and woodland ecosystems, where they are typically found running in bright sunshine over bare ground, or in short grasses (Fig. 1; Marshall and Poulton 1902).
 Like most other members of the tribe Anthiini, species of Cypholoba have the ability to excrete formic acid from their pygidial glands as a defensive behavior (PĂ©ringuey 1896).
 Most species in this genus are black and many species have white setal patches or setal tufts (Fig. 1) that are thought to have evolved through mimicry of Mutillidae, Formicidae, and other stinging Hymenoptera (Marshall and Poulton 1902).
 These beetles are of potential interest to entomologists and evolutionary biologists studying phenomena such as mimicry, aposematic coloration, and the evolution of chemical defenses.
 Species of Cypholoba, like many other Anthiini, also show close associations with particular ecosystems or vegetation communities and their activity patterns are closely tied with environmental variables such as temperature and rainfall, and overall climate patterns such as seasonal monsoons (Schmidt 2001; Mawdsley et al. 2011).
Given the relatively large adult body size of most Cypholoba species (length 15–33 mm), their diagnostic color and setal patterns (Strohmeyer 1928) and their conspicuous activity patterns and behaviors (Schmidt 2001), these beetles could easily be incorporated into environmental monitoring programs which track overall ecosystem condition, status, and trends.

additional info from Riaan Stals (iSpot)
"This species belongs to the same tribe as the 'oogpisters' of the genus Anthia: http://www.ispot.org.za/search/determination/anthia. That is in the tribe Anthiini.

Cypholoba graphipteroides is a species that is not uncommonly encountered from Zululand to the northern provinces of South Africa. In the Kruger National Park [this observation], this species is the most abundant and most frequently encountered member of the tribe Anthiini. Adults emerge in the early rainy season, are typically found near flowing water, and are active both by day and by night. They have characteristically brisk walking behaviour."

Thanks Riaan