Titchy ptilids

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Looking through some specimens from a recent expedition to Burma I found some of these little chaps, featherwing beetles (ptilidae) to be exact. Now, saying “little” is a bit of an understatement as this one was just shy of 0.5mm long. Featherwing beetles are actually among the smallest of all insects and amid the interception trap sample from where they came these beetles were only visible to the naked eye as the merest specks. At this scale normal wings are next to useless, hence their feathery appearance. In most places around the world at the right time of year the air is alive with all sorts of miniscule insects that are so easily overlooked.


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