Martincito's picture

Orchesia micans pupa

Observed: 19th November 2012 By: MartincitoMartincito’s reputation in InvertebratesMartincito’s reputation in InvertebratesMartincito’s reputation in InvertebratesMartincito’s reputation in Invertebrates
Orchesia micans pupa??
Pupa in situ
Collybia sclerotia
Collybia cookei on old Inonotus hispidus
Ash Tree with trace of Inonotus

Small grey grub found inside sclerotia of Collybia cookei muchroom embedded in an old Inonotus hispidus bracket fungus that had been growing (maybe 2 years ago) on an Ash Tree.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Martincito's picture

Orchesia micans is a beetle

Orchesia micans is a beetle associated with Ash Trees, and in particular with the bracket fungi that grow on them.

See for example

"Of greater interest was a Nationally Scarce species of False-darling Beetle Orchesia micans.
These beetles are often associated with bracket fungi on trees such as ash, alder and beech,
but was found beneath bark on this occasion."

"More typical bracket fungi also have their specialist fauna, eg Inonotus hispidus is where the beetles Triplax russica and Orchesia micans develop ..."

This observation was made by chance when examining the sclerotia of the mushroom Collybia cookei, that grows on the rotting remains of bracket fungi, including Inonotus hispidus. When I split a couple of the sclerotia to examine the flesh, I was surprised to find a grey blob in a cavity within and even more surprised when I realised it was a living insect pupa!

My ID is based on the chain of association from pupa to mushroom, to braket fungus to the host tree.
See,, for more details of each link of this chain.

Martincito's picture

To be honest, I'm not sure if

To be honest, I'm not sure if this creature was a pupa or a larva. I've said pupa based on seeing photos of larvae and pupae of Orchesia on the internet.

Martincito's picture

The Common Name is False

The Common Name is False Darkling Beetle, not False-darling Beetle as erroneously appeared in a report cited above.

Chalkie's picture

How disappointing...

False-darling was such an interesting name!

Martincito's picture

Nice one!

Your comment made me laugh... thanks! It is a super typo, I must agree.

Jonathan's picture

What a fascinating

What a fascinating interaction of 4 different organisms, a tree, 2 fungi and a beetle.

University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

Martincito's picture

Definitely a riddle, wrapped

Definitely a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; if only there was a key!