December 1, 2020
It's time for the Tuesday edition of #BenInNature! You might not be seeing too many insects these days, but many of them are still around, hiding beneath the leaf litter! According to VMNH Research Associate and Professional Ground Beetle Enthusiast Curt Harden, this is Cyclotrachelus iuvenis (and it's one of his favorite ground beetles).
According to Harden, this species is only found in southeastern West Virginia, western Virginia, and neighboring parts of North Carolina. I've found two on my property over the last couple of months, and I spotted the second one just a couple of weeks ago while digging through leaf litter.
There are 45 known species in the genus Cyclotrachelus, all of which are found east of the Rockies and nine of which can be found in Virginia. According to Harden, all of the species are flightless and tend to occupy fairly small ranges.
Social distancing can be difficult, but it presents a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. In this series of posts, Administrator of Science Ben Williams ventures outdoors to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world. New updates are posted Monday - Friday, with previous posts highlighted on the weekends.
NEW: TRIVIA CHALLENGE
You've seen the posts. You've learned the facts. Now, it's time to prove you are a #BenInNature Mega Fan! The museum's education team has developed the #BenInNature Trivia Challenge to identify the most devoted fans out there! Everyone who successfully answers each trivia question correctly will be congratulated by having your own nature selfie posted to the museum's #BenInNature Mega Fan Photo Album on the official VMNH Facebook page! Learn more and download the trivia challenge today by visiting www.vmnh.net/research-collections/beninnature-trivia-challenge.
NATURE PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS
If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture (please include location and date of picture) and we'll have our experts help you identify it!