Cave Beetle; Xuedytes bellus

Xuedytes bellus. Image credit: Sunbin Huang & Mingyi Tian

Xuedytes bellus, a cave dwelling beetle was discovered in a cave in Guangxi Province, China. Like much of southern China, this is in a vast landscape riddled with caves. This new species of beetle is about 9 mm in length, with elongated head and prothorax. First pair of legs are attached to the body segment immediately behind the head.

Beetles that evolve in the darkness of caves often take on a similar set of characteristics, including narrow bodies, spider-like appendages and loss of wings, eyes and pigmentation. Such beetles are an example of convergent evolution.

Suggested Reading

Tian M, Huang S, Wang D. Discovery of a most remarkable cave-specialized trechine beetle from southern China (Coleoptera, Carabidae, Trechinae). Z. 2017;725:37-47. doi:10.3897/zookeys.725.21040

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Written by Josin Tharian

Assistant Professor of Zoology by profession.

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