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Scarab - Paracotalpa ursina

Scarab - Paracotalpa ursina
Dilley Wilderness Preserve, Laguna Beach, Orange County, California, USA
May 4, 2009
Size: ~1.5cm bl

Images of this individual: tag all
Scarab - Paracotalpa ursina Scarab - Paracotalpa ursina

Moved from Paracotalpa ursina.


Paracotalpa ursina [species complex]
I've collected specimens in the foothills above Laguna Beach, CA, in early spring. Locality is wrong for P. granicollis which is more of a Great Basin species and doesn't reach coastal California.

Paracotalpa deserta is an all black species (thermal dynamics during late winter activity period) that occurs from San Diego and Imperial Counties, CA, then south into Baja California, MX.

Ssp. rubripennis?
From a reading of the key and discussion in Saylor(1940), I guess this and the specimens you collected above Laguna Beach would be P. ursina rubripennis ... a "P. granicollis-like" subspecies of ursina (green head & thorax, white-hairy red elytra) described by Saylor as having range in "San Diego region", which presumably includes neighboring Orange Co.

Moved from Paracotalpa.

Hi, Peter! I don't know anything about this genus per se, but I did some research and here's what I've found out. The California Beetle Project lists four species of Paracotalpa within the state. Only three of those are currently represented on BugGuide. I did find this description and image of the fourth species -- P. deserta -- but cannot match nor rule it out based on the pinned specimen. (Collection data I have found for this species seems to be from San Diego and Imperial Counties, and I do believe it would be most likely found in more arid regions, but this is only speculative on my part.)

So, keeping in mind that P. deserta may or may not still be a possibility, I'd have to say that your images look remarkably similar to P. granicollis.

Still, only an educated guess and certainly not a definitive ID. I'm afraid you'll have to wait for someone with some actual expertise. (*smile*)

ID start
Looks like a species of Paracotalpa.

I agree with Andy, just cant
I agree with Andy, just cant remember the species.

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