Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pseudanostirus pudicus

Here's a click beetle that tends to fairly local in the Rocky Mountains. It can be common in Utah but it is often poorly represented in collections outside the area. It looks similar to the more widespread P. propola but lacks the bold elytral markings. They tend to be more diffuse in P. pudicus.

I found this one at about 6,000 feet up American Fork Canyon (Utah County, Utah) a month ago just as the sun was setting. It was resting on stream-side vegetataion when I discovered it.  I've seen it at elevations as high as 8,000 - 9,000 feet. 


Monday, September 19, 2011

Tragosoma pilosicornis

Tragosoma pilosicornis is small as far as prionid longhorn beetles go. It's a substantial insect, however, by other criteria. This individual is about an inch long but like other bycids, when it extends its antennae, it seems much bigger. This one came bumbling in to my blacklight a week ago just below Sequoia National Park in Tulare County, California (at about 4,700 feet). The main trees in the vicinity were ponderosa pine and incense cedar.

This species is not nearly as common as T. depsarium which also occurs in California (and much of the West and across the Northern Hemisphere). It is also quite a bit less hairy than its more common relative and has very noticeable pitting on the anterior half of the wing covers.

This is the first time I've seen T. pilosicornis alive. The habitat shot is a morning view after Michael and I pulled ourselves out of our sleeping bags.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Cosmosalia chrysocoma

Here's a Rocky Mountain longhorn beetle, Cosmosalia chrysocoma. It's one of those variable lepturines with a fairly wide distribution (throughout Canada and in much of the Western US) but with populations that can look unique. It can often be found on flowers. I found this one on a thistle bud.

Some of individuals are much darker (with the black base color showing through the elytral pubescence). I have also seen specimens that almost look gold. I found this one just before dusk up American Fork Canyon (in the same place as the giant ladybird beetle of my last post).

The habitat is spare scrub oak and sagebrush with Douglas fir and boxelder along the canyon floor. It's always a good day when you find bycids about.