Subject: Museum Specimen (very flat beetle)
Location: Museum Collection, place of origin unknown
February 10, 2013 7:27 pm
This was in a collection at the Rosenbruch Wildlife Museum in St. George, UT (I saw it as a visitor there). Unfortunately it was unlabeled. It was very flat with the middle part being slightly thicker. The body was 2.5-3 inches long.
Signature: James Bowler
We believe this collection was most likely part of a donation. The beetle in question looked very familiar to us, but we needed to research its identity. We thought it must be a Ground Beetle in the family Carabidae, and our hunch proved to be correct. We found a photo and a common name on the Bug Collection website where it is called a Fiddle Beetle and this information is provided: “Here’s another strange one. It’s pretty big, but very flat, resembling a huge seed. They are carnivorous and found under loose bark.” You need to scroll down to find the image. Now that we had a common name, we found an image on a Stock Photography page that also provided a scientific name Mormolyce phyllodes and the location of the rainforests of Malaysia. Carniveraforum lists the common name as Violin Beetle. The Wild Borneo website states: “Fiddle Beetles (Carabidae: Thyreopterinae) are found in forested habitats in tropical Southeast Asia. Their bizarre flattened wing-sheaths allow them to maneuver under tree bark and cracks where they hunt for other insects.”