Rove Beetle

Cafius lithocharinus

Cafius lithocharinus is one of the smaller of the Cafius species occupying the kelp wrack on local sandy beaches, ranging from 7.5mm to 9mm. C. lithocharinus is most common in early spring to early summer, when it is reproducing and foragint at night. Their distribution is similar to other Cafius, and even though they are all found in patches,  C. lithocharinus is particularly so. C. luteipennis is commonly associated with other rove beetles, including C. luteipennis and other smaller rove beetles (A. sulcicollis, B. fenyesi, etc). They are less robust than the larger Cafius species on the beach, and are easily distinguished by the golden patches at the ends of their elytra. These beetles are more likely to flee through flight when under predatory pressure than larger members of its genus. This response may be associated with their size, since smaller rove beetles tend to flee more readily that larger species. Their diet consists of largely larval and adult flies along with smaller amphipods. Small numbers of phoretic mites and nematodes can occupy their wings and elytra. C. lithocharinus is not as interesting as its larger relatives; the parasitic fungus  Laboulbenia philonthi (described in Thaxter 1893) is not known to occur with them. The fungus may be largely found within late-summer to fall months, a time period that is not well associated with C. lithocharinus occurrence in high numbers. Similar research is applicable to these beetles as their congeneric counnterparts, though much less is known about C. lithocharinus than C. seminitens and C. canescens. 


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