Friday, August 9, 2013

A Diversion to Southeast Arizona: The Beetles, Part II - Longhorns and Others

Here are some additional beetle species seen on my one-week, beetle-extravanganza in Arizona.

Stenaspis verticalis, female. This was the first of its species that I have ever observed in Arizona (or anywhere, for that matter). Interestingly, it was being mounted by a male Stenaspis solitaria (see below), the "common" Stenaspis of the area. He must have been pretty excited when he saw such a beautiful she-beetle of the right shape and size, but so much more colorful than the unicolor females of his own species! Lower Madera Canyon.
Stenaspis solitaria, male. He is visiting a sapping spot on Baccharis sarothroides. A Euphoria sepulcralis is there, too, giving an idea of the impressive size of these longhorn beetles (they are about 30 mm long - well over an inch - typically). Lower Madera Canyon.
Rhodoleptus femoratus, a small, colorful cerambycid (longhorn beetle) on Baccharis. Lower Madera Canyon. Thanks to Fred Skillman for identifying this beetle for me.
Moneilema appressum, the less-commonly-seen cactus longhorn. Found walking along Ruby Road, between Pena Blanca Lake and Sycamore Canyon. This one adopted a rear-upward defense posture like a darkling beetle would when approached.
Tigrinestola tigrina, a small cerambycid, on a sheet placed under a black light. Santa Rita Experimental Range.
Monochamus clamator rubigineus. Upper Madera Canyon.
Coenopoeus palmeri. Box Canyon, Santa Rita Mountains. This individual was found in the daytime, clinging to this stalk.
Enaphalodes niveitectus, a nicely patterned cerambycid. Bog Springs Campground, Madera Canyon.
Strongylium atrum, Santa Rita Experimental Range. This is a tenebrionid, or darkling beetle, often erroneously called a "stink bug."
Stenomorpha marginata, another darkling beetle. Pretty common in the Santa Rita Mountains. This one was on the east side of this mountain range.
Pasimachus viridans, a ground beetle. This species has a beautiful green metallic border, setting it apart from other local Pasimachus. These are voracious predators, searching for prey after dark. Upper Madera Canyon.
Cicindela lemniscata, a tiny tiger beetle. Highly predatory, despite the size (this one was probably about 10 mm long). I-19 Rest Area, northbound side.
Agrilus pulchellus, a buprestid or jewel beetle. This pair were found at Sycamore Canyon, west of Pena Blanca Lake. This is a huge genus and is the same one that includes tree-killers like the Emerald Ash Borer and the Goldspotted Borer. Generally, members of this genus don't kill trees in substantial numbers in their native habitats. But when transferred to places where the trees are not adapted to them, they can become "pests."
Cymatodera sp., a clerid or checkered beetle. Pena Blanca Lake area.
Gibbifer californicus pair, pleasing fungus beetles. This species really is pleasing to see, with their lovely purplish-blue colors. Very common in the Santa Rita Mountains. I'm not sure why they were named as they are as I don't believe that they even occur in California, or if so, minimally. SOMEONE out there knows the answer to this mystery! Upper Madera Canyon.


  1. These are beautiful shots, Robyn! Of course you know which one is my favorite.

  2. Those little Agrilus were real lookers!