Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lacon sparsa

Lacon sparsa is a broad black click beetle about half an inch long that lives under the bark of dead trees. I found this individual over the Thanksgiving weekend under the bark of a dead gray pine on Los Gatos Creek in western Fresno County (west of Coalinga). There wasn't much out except for lark sparrows lower down the canyon, yellow-billed magpies and darkling beetles along the road.

Lacon sparsa is easily recognizable with its predominantly black scales overlying its black body. There are a few scattered white scales intermixed but not nearly enough to confuse it with L. rorulenta which also has coppery scales (see my previous post for November 4). It's an attractive clicker.

If November isn't the most productive month to be collecting in this part of California. Los Gatos Creek isn't very productive for another reason: it's fenced almost it's entire length. There are a few places to get out and look around - even a few new campgrounds being put in - but overall, Warthon Canyon to the south is better for finding insects.

That said, the scenery is still nice - open pine oak woodland. You just have to enjoy it on the other side of a fence.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos, Sam.

Ah yes, Warthan Canyon ... there is, yet, an undescribed subspecies of Pleocoma further up the canyon nearer the county line.

Best wishes and Happy New Year,

Sam Wells said...

Thanks Delbert,

I'm just learning about the bugs in Warthan Canyon. Too many bugs and too little time. Hope you have a productive Beetle year for 2011.