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tiny orange and black beetle - Attalus serraticornis

tiny orange and black beetle - Attalus serraticornis
Desert Hot Springs, Riverside County, California, USA
March 31, 2009
Size: around 5 mm
Maybe smaller.


very nice...
i'll try to figure it out

Beutiful Melyridae, Attalus serraticornis
Hi Vassilli,

This beautiful little melyrid is Attalus serraticornis Fall, easily recognized by the large size and truncate shape of the last segment of the abdomen, and the clearly serrate antennae. This color pattern is found in many species of Attalus and Tanaops. A. serraticornis is common throughout all the western deserts, and can be found on the flowers of many plants, including creosote. Often the black markings meet and form an hour glass pattern on the elytra. This species is known from Baja California Norte, Mexico; and Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah in the US. I would really like to know the name of the plant this one is photographed on.

thanks a lot!

Yes, thanks!
I've added a picture of the plant.

Hi Lynette and Adriean
I'm pretty sure the plant here is Croton californicus, a native member of the family Euphorbiaceae. This species is actually dioecious (= separate male and female plants). From the developing fruit, yours appears to be a female.

Here's a brief info page with images by "our own" Hartmut Wisch :-) More photos can be found here.

Cool bug...
..looks like it's trying two-ended camouflage ! That black tip at the hind end coupled with the spotted 'shell' makes it look like a ladybug. While the bright red on the thorax are looks like a head and eyes of a fly!

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