What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown stump decayer!!
Location: Wellington, CO
September 22, 2012 10:54 pm
While investing our cottonwood stump, we pulled off some of the bark and found this little fellow!! Details, 3 mm in length, 2 mm in width, 1 mm when flat against the trunk!!
I’ve been through the Bug Guide but still have not found it.
I will be out collection some for taking additional photos with a ruler to ensure measurements.
I do have additional full size photos if required.
Signature: Fish Seal

Clown Beetle

Dear Fish Seal,
The size and resolution on two of the images you submitted were so small as to be useless for identification purposes.  Thankfully you did submit one closeup image.  Our email program can accept large files which enables us to crop and to provide the highest web resolution possible for our readership.  Images that have been reduced in size prior to submission often result in inferior quality once we have posted them.  This is a Clown Beetle in the family Histeridae, and according to BugGuide, depending upon the species, their habitat includes:  “dung, carrion, decomposing fungi, under bark, in ant nests, forest litter, flood debris, treeholes, bird nests, mammal/reptile burrows, at sap flows, under wrack on beaches, and on sandy beaches.”  The closest match we were able to find on BugGuide is
Platylomalus aequalis.  BugGuide indicates that the habitat is:  “Found under bark. Dillon and Dillon(1) state that it is most common under the bark and logs of poplar and cottonwood.”  That is consistent with your sighting. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Colorado

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