Gut content analysis of Corylophidae: An analysis of biology to inform phylogeny

Monday, November 11, 2013
Exhibit Hall 4 (Austin Convention Center)
James Murphy , College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
The minute hooded beetles (Coleoptera: Corylophidae) are a cryptic group known to feed on fungi in both larval and adult stages. Unfortunately, the poorly understood biology of these beetles means that fungal associations and fact feeding habits for a number of taxa are largely unknown.   This preliminary study uses DIC microscopy to image dissected gut contents from several Southeastern North American genera in an attempt to elucidate the natural history of this group. Results show that not only are feeding strategies not uniform across taxa (with some adults seemingly aphagous), but indeed that not all taxa included herein are actually fungivorous. Once fungal associations have been confirmed by a mycologist, the continuing goal of this study is to use these data to further inform (or if necessary, to revise) the existing phylogeny of this group should data gathered support this conclusion.