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One flat, black, beetle

Image of Velvety Bark Beetle

Description:

Penthe pimelia, the "Velvety Bark Beetle". I found this at my kitchen window light, as I have found almost all my specimens. I see one or two per year, in the late spring or in fall. This thing looks like a Tenebrionid (Darkling) beetle, but is not. Sometimes placed in Melandryidae, it seems, currently, to be placed in Tetratomidae, the Polypore Fungus Beetles. The genus name Penthe is Greek, "to mourn", no doubt referring to the dark color. Star Trek fans will perhaps, recognize this from the name of the Klingon prison planet, Rura Penthe, no doubt a mournful place. Who knew that Greek and Klingon were related? (The explanation is simple--the writers behind Star Trek often borrowed from non-English human languages for their "alien" words.)

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cotinis
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