Super Crop Challenge #9

Can you name the structures in this photo (easy) and the critter they belong to (maybe not so easy)?  Because there are so many potential answers to those two questions, I’ll give 1 point for each correctly named structure (5 maximum) and taxon (primary categories from class to species).  As always, standard challenge rules apply, including moderated comments to allow time for everyone to submit their answers.  Bonus points will be awarded to early birds if multiple participants arrive at the same correct answer and possibly also for other relevant comments at my discretion.

The competition is really heating up in the current Session #4—current leader and 2-time champ Ben Coulter has 22 points, but there are at least half a dozen folks who could easily earn enough points in this one challenge to either take the lead or grab a podium spot.  If you’re stumped, remember that the pity points you earn now could be a tie-breaker at the end of the session.  Good luck!

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2011

About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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14 Responses to Super Crop Challenge #9

  1. Ben Coulter says:

    Wow, it’s late. This is what I get for compulsively checking my e-mail before bed. Let’s see. There is a pair of mandibles, a lovely labrum, anteclypeus, clypeus, genae, the frontogenal sutures, the galeae of the maxillae and labial palps. I think I could probably make out a blurry set of procoxae and protrochanters in the background. That’s gonna have to do for this time of night (or morning).

    Class Insecta
    Order Coleoptera
    Suborder Polyphaga
    Superfamily Chrysomeloidea
    Family Cerambycidae
    Subfamily Cerambycinae
    Tribe Callichromatini
    Plinthocoelium suaveolens suaveolens

    Why, it’s the nominate form of North America’s most beautiful long-horned beetle, the Bumelia Borer!

    • Maximum points as usual – I’ll give you 5 for the morphology, 5 for the ID, and 1 bonus point for each of the following:
      – correct subspecies identification
      – beating one other participant with the correct ID
      – making overt reference to my previous post (you could’ve gotten 2 bonus points if you’d actually hyperlinked to it :))

      Total = 13 pts and the win!

  2. Tim Eisele says:

    Assuming that’s the mouth end[1], there’s part of a clypeum visible on either side, labrum in the middle, mandibles, part of the labium (visible through the mandibles) and the tips of a couple of maxillae.

    From the iridescence and the general nature of the mandibles, I’ll go with:
    Class: Insecta
    Order: Coleoptera
    Family: Buprestidae (because those don’t look like tiger beetle mandibles)
    Genus: No idea

    [1] I thought at first that you’d found some insect with astoundingly mandible-like claspers (which would certainly be a great switcheroo on all of us), but I think it might be a bit much to expect to have so many common features at both ends. Now watch this turn out to be one that *does* have maxillae-like appendages on his behind, in which case, it would probably be Odonata . . . No, no, that way lies madness.

    • I’ll give you 3 of 5 points for labrum, mandibles, and tips of maxillae. That is not the labium visible through the mandibles, but the galeae of the maxillae, and I’m not what a “clypeum” is.🙂

      Regarding your ID, you get points for class and order, but family is where you went astray. Don’t feel bad – I had the distinct feeling these mandibles looked very buprestid-like. I’m actually happy somebody fell into my buprestid-trap!

      Total = 5 pts

  3. So I’ll start with the morphology: Mandibles, maxillary palps, labrum, clypeus, gena, and I think I can see a pair of coxae and a femur in the background.

    Taxonomy? Shot in the dark on this one… Insecta–>Neoptera–>Coleoptera–>Polyphaga–>Cerambycidae–>Cerambycinae

    Good challenge this week Ted!

    • I’m giving you 4 of 5 points on the morphology: mandibles, labrum, clypeus, and gena (actually genae) are correct, but the palps are labial and not maxillary. Coxae and femur are too much of a stretch for points in this photo – sorry.

      Pretty good on the ID, which was correct as far as you took it and earns another 3 points.

      Total = 7 points.

  4. Mike Baker says:

    It is a picture of the lower face (mandibles, maxillary palps, labrum, and clypeus) of I am going to say some sort of wasp. Since it is metallic, I will take a guess and go with Insecta:Hymenoptera:Chrysididae:not a clue on genus.
    Mike

    • Yes on mandibles, labrum, and clypeus, but those are labial rather than maxillary palps – 3 pts.

      Nice thinking outside the box on the ID, but it is, in fact, a beetle, so you only get 1 pt for the class.

      Total = 4 pts

  5. Hmmm…since you said you’re giving points for class, like you did with the sea slater, I thought maybe you’d done another non-insect SCC. But, since I only had a few minutes to try and identify the mystery arthropod, I figured I might as well try BugGuide. Not even knowing where to start, I tried searching “metallic red green.” When the images came up, the first thing that came into my mind was “No way, it actully worked!!!” I found this photo that was almost an exact match for yours (although at less magnification), identified as Plinthocoelium suaveolens . I’m going to say Class–Insecta, Order–Coleoptera, Family–Cerambycidae, Tribe–Callichromatini, Genus–Plinthocoelium , Species–suaveolens. Based on the more bronzy-red tint in the photo, I’m going to guess Subspecies–suaveolens for a full name of Plinthocoelium suaveolens suaveolens , a.k.a. the Bumelia Borer.

    Now for the structures. Mandibles seems pretty obvious for the large mouthparts. I wasn’t sure what the little antennae-like things were beneath the manbdibles, but after doing a little research I think they’re the maxillary palps (or maybe the labial palps, but I think maxillary). I don’t know if you consider them structures, but I think those little pits are called foveae. Then there’s those orange fuzzy things behind the mandibles. Does “hairs” count? Well, that about exhausts my knowledge of beetle face anatomy, so I guess I can’t get that fifth “structures” point!

    • Nice job on the ID, for which you not only get the 5 maximum points but also a bonus point for correctly identifying the subspecies. I also like your sleuthing strategy and will give you a bonus point for that as well.

      Morphology-wise I’ll give you a point for mandibles (ignoring the spelling error since you spelled it correctly further down) – you came so close to going with labial palps instead of maxillary palps. Foveae is a good term, but they don’t really qualify as structures.

      Total = 8 pts

      • Haha, I can’t believe I overlooked “manbdibles” when I checked for spelling errors! I’m guessing “hairs” don’t count as accurately-named structures either🙂 Oh well, eight points is still good. I’m looking forward to the next challenge!

  6. Roy says:

    Based on the mandible and labrum structures I’d assume this to be a Long-horned beetle of some kind. As to which genus and species, I’d have to say Anthophylax cyaneus as that’s the only green variety I’m familiar with.

    Class: Insecta
    Order: Coleoptera
    Family: Cerambycidae
    Genus: Anthophylax
    Species: cyaneus

    Structures visible would include the head, mandibles, labrum, maxillae, and oral palpus.

    • Hi Roy – you get 3 pts on the ID. Good guess on the genus/species, but sadly not correct.

      I’ll also give you a point each for mandibles and labrum and a half point each for maxillae (only part of it is seen) and oral palpus (which one?).

      Total = 6 pts

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