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Insect Scout: Nanda
Location: Avantipuram, AP, India
Species Identifier(s): suunto (http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/910704/)
Points to appreciate:
- Observe the finely segemented antennae of the beetle. If you count the segments, you will find there are 11 of them.
- Also notice the vertical ridge running down the center of the lower body segment. The hard shell-like covering is a actually modified forewings called elytra. In some insects it acts as a protection for the hindwings while in some cases the elytra are fused together and the insect becomes flightless.
Darkling beetles (also known as Darkening beetles) are a family of beetles found worldwide, estimated at more than 20,000 species. This family of beetles may be identified by a combination of features, including :
- An 11-segmented antenna which may be filiform, moniliform, or weakly clubbed.
- First abdominal sternite entire and not divided by the hind coxae.
- Eyes notched by a frontal ridge.
- Tarsi have four segments in the hind pair and 5 in the fore and mid legs. The tarsal claws are simple.