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Dictyoptera aurora

Dictyoptera aurora
Photo Information
Copyright: John Denk (jpdenk) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 307 W: 3 N: 74] (333)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-10-01
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D90, 60mm f/2.8D AF Micro Nikkor
Exposure: f/16, 1/60 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Insects and Arachnids of the Chicago region [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2011-10-01 16:55
Viewed: 3973
Points: 8
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Thanks to Ron Warner for verification of my ID, although I've changed the name of the genus slightly to Dictyoptera. Apparently, they do occur in deciduous woods too, which removes my only reason for doubting my initial ID.

It was on a dead log that attracted me because the log was covered with troops of Mycena mushrooms, which is what the insect is on. The larvae of this species may be mushroom-eaters, so the presence of the Mycenas may have something to do with this insect being near them.

I hand-held my camera and shot in aperture priority to get enough depth of field, used the built-in flash.

Here's some info on this species that I found on Matt Bretone's NCSU Insect Museum site:

Dictyoptera aurora (Herbst, 1784)

Beetles in the family Lycidae (~3,500 species worldwide; ~76 species North of Mexico) are commonly referred to as net-winged beetles; their elytra (forewings) are often soft and covered in a net-like, reticulate texture, thus the common name. They are similar in appearance and closely related to fireflies (Lampyridae), but do not bioluminesce. Lycids are conspicuous beetles – the adults and larvae are usually red, orange, or yellow, and oft en contrasted by black or dark colors. This aposematic (warning) coloration is used to show predators that they are distasteful. This week’s species is Dictyoptera aurora, sometimes called the “golden net-winged beetle”.

The genus Dictyoptera (=Dictyopterus Mulsant 1838) was described by Latreille in 1829. Dictyoptera aurora was described by the German entomologist Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Herbst in 1784, but was originally was placed in the genus Pyrochroa (now used exclusively for the type genus of fire-colored beetles, Pyrochroidae).

The genus Dictyoptera can be told from other local lycids by the combination of 1) distally expanded 2nd antennomere, 2) pronotum with 2 longitudinal carinae forming a central diamond shape, and 3) 4 raised costae on elytra, making 10 rows of reticulations. Dictyoptera aurora can be further diagnosed from other Dictyoptera sp. in NC by having a red coloration except for the center of the pronotum, scutellum, legs and antennae, which are black. Dictyoptera aurora ranges from 6-13mm in length.

Adults sometimes feed on nectar and pollen from flowering plants; larvae inhabit soil, leaf litter and decaying wood where they are thought to be predators or mycophagous (feeding on fungus).

Dictyoptera aurora is commonly found in temperate deciduous/coniferous forests. Larvae and adults can be collected around rotting wood, either on or from underneath the bark. Adults may be found on flowers or in flight.

This species appears to be Holarctic, being widely distributed throughout much of North America and North Europe/Asia.

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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Silvio2006: Thank youjpdenk 1 10-18 10:31
To tuslaw: Thanksjpdenk 1 10-02 05:38
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Critiques [Translate]

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  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2011-10-01 22:11]
  • [+]

Hello John,
I believe you are right on the money. It looks like a Golden Net-winged Beetle to me. Check out this site http://bugguide.net/node/view/2904

A wonderful shot, filled with exceptional detail and attractive natural colors. Excellent exposure and super DOF. Awesome shot for being hand held!! I don't believe you could have done any better even with a tripod.

Excellent detailed photo of this interesting insect. Despite being found elsewhere than where its supposed to be it looks like you are right in the ID. regards yiannis

hello John
great picture with good details and great sharpness
the colours are beautiful
thanks greeting lou

Ciao John, lovely moth on beautiful fungi, wonderful bright colors, splendid sharpness and fine details, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

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