Wednesday, August 6, 2008


In one day I added two families that I hadn't collected in AZ to my collection. While sorting through some misc. Staphs I had collected from a blacklight, I noticed one of the beetles looked strange. On closer inspection, it was a Telegeuidae. I've collected this beetle before in New Mexico but this was the first time I found them in AZ. Then later in the evening, I went to my favorite collecting spot, Peppersauce Canyon and was poking under rocks in a small bat cave when I fond a Rhiphiceridae. This was the first Sandalus I had collected so I was quite excited. It truly was quite a good day for beetles!

Monday, August 4, 2008


Last weekend I found my first non-Metrius Paussinae. This is Goniotropis kuntzeni. It is in the tribe Ozaenini. While many members of the subfamily are myrmecophilic and extremely modified for such behavior, Goniotropis is not. Still, it is quite an impressive looking creature. I really dig the antenna cleaners on the protibia.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Last weekend I finally found my first major male Strategus aloeus. I've seen countess numbers of minor males and females but this is the first one I have found with big horns! I was planning to off it but then kinda got attached to him so he is now my pet.
His name is Wendell. He is kept in a box without any lady friends so he seems quite frustrated right now. He seems to readily eat carrots and various fruits.

Now all I have to find is the local Megasoma to complete my collection of "horned" AZ dynastines...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Madera Canyon

A couple nights ago, I went to Madera Canyon to collect at the Old Baldy trailhead. There were storms in the distance but the sky in the canyon was quite clear. We set up our light in the parking lot and were immediately greeted by Chrysina. These glorious beetles came in droves.
As you can see, we got all 3 species of Arizona Chrysina, a phenomena that I hadn't witnessed before.
This is Chrysina beyeri, in my opinion the most attractive of the 3 species. Gotta love those purple legs!

We also got lecontei and gloriossa, which are both handsome species as well.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


This is one of the non-Tenebs I was hoping to encounter during my trip through Cali. It is Usechus. One of the more bizarre members of the family Zopheridae. It is found under bark. All the specimens I found came from either under the bark of redwoods or pines. It has weird antennal cavities on the pronotum.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Love Stump

While traveling through El Dorado National Forest, I came across a stump that from afar seemed to be crawling with ants. Upon a closer inspection, I saw that the stump was actually crawling with Aradids (flat bugs). Up to this point, I've only stumbled upon lone Aradids or groups of 10 or 15 under bark, but before me there were hundreds of Aradids, milling around on the surface of a pine stump.
The Aradids stayed on the stump feverishly mating until the sun started to go down, and slowly they started to fly away. Later in the evening, we noticed termite sexuals flying around. When I looked towards the direction they were coming from, I soon realized that they were coming from the same log.

I wonder if any other insects use this stump for their reproductive business.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Well it was new to me!

During our road trip, we collected a lot in the El Dorado/Tahoe area of California. Here I encountered some Tenebs that are very common but I had not collected yet (mostly because this really was my first trip to this part of California). I knew that these beetles were common as all the major collections I've been to has hundreds of specimens, but it was still exciting to see them first-hand, alive.
This little guy is Bius estriatus.

It is in the same tribe as Tenebrio and asides from the color (one of the few non all black Tenebs I caught during the trip) it doesn't look all too odd. I expected to find these under bark as thats where I found its relatives out East, but this fellow was inside of a Polypore.

This next critter is Scotobaenus parallellus.
Again, very common in California, but new to me! This clunky fellow is also similar in behavior to the East Coast Tenebs I was used to chasing. They spend their days under bark, preferring dry trees over moist. Then once the sun goes down, they come out and slowly crawl along logs.