Hey beetle folks: Anyone familiar with the Panagaeines of southern Africa? I’ve got a handful of specimens from Zambia that I can’t seem to get a confident genus name. I’ve got a guess, but I’d like to get some unbiased second opinions.
They were collected in Copperbelt Province during October and November by Kelly Miller’s lab. My hunch is that they’re three different species, but I wouldn’t be shocked if 1 and 2 ended up being conspecific.
I’m also not certain on their sex either. How? Am I really that terrible of a morphologist?
Maybe, but these fellows have a surprise that has thwarted my meager abilities: All of them have dense seta on all of their tarsi. Males of the average carabid have this feature on their front legs, presumably for clinging on to females during mating, so it provides a handy way to sex them in the field (or when you’re too lazy to sharpen your forceps and dig out their sexy bits).
Not these jerks. Their tarsi are as fuzzy as can be. It’s apparent even in my awful pictures. This isn’t a super rare condition in the beetle world, but it does suggest something more is going on with these Panagaeines. Do they have to cling to their prey, like some millipede or snail specialists beetles?
I’m interested to hear your thoughts and speculations.