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Red & Black Casebearer in California - Cryptocephalus sanguinicollis

Red & Black Casebearer in California - Cryptocephalus sanguinicollis
Webb Canyon, ~2000 ft. altitude, Los Angeles County, California, USA
April 5, 2009
Size: ~4 mm
Another pool rescue with a happy ending -- this one seemed none the worse for wear and flew off after its wings dried out a bit. After looking through my possible beetle options, I think this one looks most like one of the the Casebearers (Subfamily Cryptocephalinae) -- perhaps one of the members of Genus Cryptocephalus? I believe this group is characterized by the base of the pronotum being as wide as the elytra... Of the species listed in the guide, I couldn't find any patterns that matched up with mine, but The California Beetle Database lists 12 species in this genus and BugGuide currently only has images for 2 of those species.

I have MANY more photos of this specimen which I may post later, but I simply couldn't wait to find out more about this little one! Anxiously waiting to hear whether my guesses are right and if it is possible to obtain a species ID...

Specimen photographed in the shade -- much shinier and red more vivid in the sunlight. Mixed oak & chaparral habitat.

C. sanguinicollis sanguinicollis confirmed!
Due to the extraordinary efforts of Hartmut Wisch, this image has now been confirmed by several experts. My most sincere thanks to Hartmut for going the extra mile for me on this one, and also to Michael C. Thomas for his initial call.


Edit to original post...
I corrected the number of species that I had stated The CA Beetle Project lists for Cryptocephalus. (I was counting subspecies by mistake...Oops!) Also, I have been able to rule out two more of those possible choices based on images showing color/pattern -- C. confluentus and C. alterans -- which now leaves 8 unknown possibilities from California remaining.

Cryptocephaus s. sanguinicollis Suffrian. It's the right color and occurs in California.

Thank you so much, Michael!
On your suggestion, I was able to find this species page, which definitely looks and reads as though it is a match. It does not mention this species being recorded in my county, but we are technically in an unincorporated area and one of the counties they do list (San Bernardino) is only five or so miles from my location.

Do you think I should feel confident enough to go ahead and create a new species page for this? Or is it perhaps best to try and get a local expert to confirm first?

Once again, thank you very much for your assistance with this!

I wouldn't
place too much importance on that kind of distributional detail in most cases. Many species are far more widely distributed than records indicate. There's only so many of us compared to how many insects? I don't know who's at the Los Angeles County Museum any more but you might want to run it by there and check.

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