Rove beetle

Cafius canescens

Order: 

Coleoptera

Family: 

Staphylinidae

Cafius canescens is the second largest of the Cafius occupying Santa Barbara sandy beaches, ranging from 7.5mm to 12mm.  C. canescens is also the most common Cafius present in local kelp wrack, particularly common while feeding at night in summer months. 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 for evasion or colonization of new kelp wrack; however, they also will remain still and try to camouflage with detritus. Phoretic mites are found under their elytra. Similarly to Cafius seminitens, the parasitic fungus Laboulbenia philonthi (described in Thaxter 1893) is found on their abdomens and elytra. Research in tandem with other Cafius species is been conducted, including some on Coal Oil Point Reserve. Past studies have 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).