More on the rock chip bug

Throughout my life as a geologist I have known a lot of folks who are torn between geology and biology... SuperNaturalists? Geobiogists? "Slug-cutters"? That one's from Andy Duncan who has a rivalrous relationship with zoologists who vie for his barstool.

One of these friends ended up sawing the heads off frozen timber wolves and grinding up extinct bird parts and putting them in a geology machine. Another ended up shipwrecked somewhere in the Inside Passage communing with Orcas and "dropped out" to go to vet school, via cattle ranching. Another dropped geology altogether (or so she says) and become a kayak guide and forester (but there are still a disproportionate number of rocks at her house). Anyway we've got one here, not sure what adventures she will get up to in the future but she right away sent me another example of the rock chip bug. He has a name! And it is Pamphagidae!

This little guy was caught in the grey limestones of the Cango Inlier near Outshoorn in the Cape Fold Belt. (Recall that I recently described his long-lost cousin in this post). The astute student also notes that she's seen them in suits matching red weathered dolerite in the Karoo. Looks like it's a pan-south-african bug.

So thank you to the sharp-eyed geobiogist who sent me this photo ( I make it a practice not to post students' identifying details unless they explicitly authorize me to, UCT geologists will know who she is anyway).


Anonymous said...

Hey Christie
There is another bug that lurks in the undergrowth in the little karoo who you should watchout for - he is informally known as the 'baardskeerder' which translates as 'beard shaver'. He even has his own town - http://www.sa-venues.com/attractionswc/baardskeerdersbos.htm
I've been trying to find a picture on the web - without any luck - he is an arachnid, quite large, and given to chewing on hair and hide - hence his name.

Lena said...

Hi Christie,
see, even though i am bad at writing, i really do read your blog...but i thought i should tell you that i'm now leaning toward forest hydrology, which brings both the geo and bio together quite nicely. i love you...
-friend who still has more rocks than trees at her house

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