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First Record of the Coleoptera Family Byrrhidae in Louisiana

Chris Carlton

Since my arrival in Louisiana during 1995 I have been rebuked periodically by colleagues because of my habit of misidentifying limnichid beetles as byrrhids and declaring the first records of Byrrhidae in the State of Louisiana. Upon closer examination the beetles have been revealed to represent members of Eulimnichus or some other trashy limnichids. This same mistake has been repeated on several occasions after sufficient passage of time to dull the sting of ridicule and allow the hope for discovery to rekindle.  On 13 October 2011, during the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum’s John McBride Fall Foray, I collected a single beetle at a mercury vapor light set up on a picnic table at Jimmie Davis State Park, Jackson Parish, Louisiana. The specimen was immediately identified as a byrrhid in the genus Curimopsis, and subsequently identified to C. strigosa (Melsheimer) (Figs) using Johnson’s (2011) online key. This specimen represents the first record of the family Byrrhidae from the State of Louisiana that I am aware of. It was the only beetle I collected that day. Label data for the specimen are: USA, LA, Jackson Par., Jimmie Davis State Park, near Chatham Lake, 75m, 32°18.733’ N, 92°26.613” W, mercury vapor light, 13 Oct. 2011, C. Carlton / Curimopsis strigosa (Melsheimer), det. C. Carlton & V. Bayless 2011 / LSAM 0216325.


Frequent checks of the light during the next several hours of the same evening by members of our group failed to produce any additional byrrhids, though a number of limnichids were collected. According to the species checklist provided by Johnson (2011) C. strigosa has been recorded from Alabama, District of Columbia, Georgia, and Maryland. It has also been recorded in Brazos County, Texas by Riley (2011).
I thank John McBride for his generosity in funding our spring and fall forays to collect insects in Lousiana during the past several years.

Curimopsis

Figs. Curmopsis strigosa ( Melsheimer), dorsal and ventral views, Jackson Parish, LA.

References
Johnson, P. J. 2011. Project Byrrhus. South Dakota State University. http://www.sdstate.edu/ps/Severin-McDaniel/project-byrrhus/index.cfm (accessed 24 October 2011).
Riley, E. G. 2011. An Illustrated Inventory of the Beetles (Coleoptera) of Lick Creek Park, College Station, Texas. http://insects.tamu.edu//tamuinsectcollection/lick_creek_park/beetles/ (accessed 24 October 2011).