Rove Beetle

Cafius canescens

Cafius canescens is the second largest of the Cafius occupying Santa Barbara sandy beaches, ranging from 7.5mm to 12mm.  C. canescens is the most common Cafius present in local kelp wrack, particularly common while feeding at night in summer months, having similar distributions as other Cafius species. They are frequently found in association with Cafius seminitens, in all conditions of kelp, though populations tend to be patchy. These beetles are similar colored as C. seminitens, with the exception of their gold, iridescent hairs covering their elytra and abdomen. Like other Cafius species, their diet mainly consists of adult and larval flies, as well as, medium to smaller sized amphipods. Flight is mainly used for evasion or colonization of new kelp wrack; however, they also will remain still and try to camouflage with detritus. Moderate numbers of phoretic mites and nematodes are found under their elytra. Similarly to Cafius seminitens, the parasitic fungus Laboulbenia philonthi (described in Thaxter 1893) is found on their abdomens. Research in tandem with other Cafius species has been conducted, including some on Coal Oil Point Reserve (in progress). Past research has included descriptive taxonomy (Orth and Moore 1980), larval descriptions (James, Moore and Legner 1971), phylogeny (Jeon, Song and Ahn 2011) and unique adaptations (Topp and Ring 1988). 

Habitat: 

  • beach