Me: “I’m not really sure what kind of beetle this is. I’ve honestly never seen one before… It’s got this little mandibles that–“
Student: “Can I put it on my face!?“
Student: “Can I put it on my face?”
Student: “Why not?”
Me: “Why do you want to put it on your face?”
Student: “I don’t know. I like to put things on my face…”
It was a Clown Beetle, by the way.
Hololepta lucida – Family: Histeridae
I couldn’t find much information on these guys, as it seems to be a relatively unstudied genus. But apparently they are pretty aggressive predators, using those mandibles to eat anything too slow to escape. These guys are also very good at sliding between the bark and the inner layers of trees hunting for food too (likely larvae inside the wood itself) due to it’s incredibly flat and almost glass-like body.
And I wish I had my camera because the ones we found were absolutely covered with parasites and I’d be interested to know what exactly they were.
Oh, and my student just licked his lips when I said “parasites”.
I’m not sure if I love the kid or if he scares me.