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Leptura obliterata? - Etorofus soror

Leptura obliterata? - Etorofus soror
SFSU Sierra Nevada Field Campus, near Bassetts, Sierra County, California, USA
July 9, 2007
This Cerambycid looks very similar to the image of Leptura obliterata soror appearing as Plate 235 in Evans and Hogue's "Field Guide to Beetles of California"(1). There are 8 species of Leptura listed on the California Beetle Database, which currently has images of just one species, namely L. propinqua (see here and here). While these images looks very similar to my specimen, they don't exhibit the same bicolored (beige & black) hind femora and tibiae, whereas the BugGuide image below does:


However, I don't know whether or not that's a significant character. I have no key to determine species with more certainty, so Leptura obliterata is my best guess now. (I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong!)

This beetle was foraging on cow parsnip (Heracleum lanatum) in an opening in montane coniferous forest at ~5500 ft elevation in the northern Sierra Nevada mountains.

Images of this individual: tag all
Leptura obliterata? - Etorofus soror Leptura obliterata? - Etorofus soror

Thanks for your attention & efforts, Brady
I guess some former members of Leptura have been segregated into Etorofus since this post was initially made.

Based on the elytral color patterns in the images here from (1) the best candidates seem to be E. obliteratus or E. soror.

It's hard for me to decide which of the two is better (and it's entertaining to note that Bezark's type image jpg here includes "L._obliterata_soror" in the filename ;-).

I don't have a key and haven't scrutinized any species descriptions/treatments, but I did notice that the 2nd and 7th images on the E. obliteratus page from (1) show that apical portion of the hind femur black (as in my photos), whereas the 2nd (pinned specimen) image on the E. soror page show the hind femur uniformly rufous-tawny. The specimen images from the California Beetle Database page for L. obliterata show similarly-patterned hind-femora. (Unfortunately that site doesn't have an entry for L. soror...and I don't think it's updated nowadays, so doesn't use the genus name Etorofus.)

I wonder what criteria there is for clearly separating the two?

Etorofus vs. Leptura
I don't have the paper in which Etorofus was split from Leptura so I don't have the exact characters used to separate them. Going from New World Cerambycidae Catalog (1), you can see which species went into Etorofus and which stayed in Leptura.

Linsley and Chemsak (1976)(2) provided a key to all the species then under Leptura. They separated Leptura obliterata into three subspecies: obliterata, soror and deleta. The latter two have since been elevated to species. E. obliteratus is found in British Columbia south to the coastal ranges of California as well as Idaho and Montana. E. soror is found in the California Sierra Nevada and E. deletus is found in the eastern US. E. obliteratus can be separated from soror by the darker coloration and different elytral pattern. I've been meaning to separate the two forms on the guide for a while now.


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