Professor Oliver Betz, of Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, will be based at QSBG Entomology for 3 months starting this coming December while he collects and studies some especially interesting and alien-like rove beetles in the mountains of northern Thailand. He is interested in the subfamily Steninae, especially the genera Stenus and Dianous. The genus Stenus is one of the largest beetle genera on earth and, with the exception of New Zealand, is distributed worldwide, with a radiative centre close to northern Thailand.
These beetles are interesting in a number of ways, most notably Stenus are remarkable for their spear-like monster claw-like sticky mouthparts that they shoot out to grasp their prey, all helped with their impressive "bug eyes" (of course beetles ain't bugs, bugs suck, beetles chew!). Stenus are also noted for their ability to walk on water!
Dianous ningxiaensis a recently described new species (Credit: Liang Tang)