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Bumpy black bug - Zopherus concolor

Bumpy black bug - Zopherus concolor
Abiquiu, New Mexico, USA
July 27, 2005
Size: 2-3 cm
Very glossy black, almost bluish. He was rather fast, and didn't appreciate the flash from my camera.

Images of this individual: tag all
Bumpy black bug - Zopherus concolor Bumpy black bug - Zopherus concolor

Moved from Zopherus.

I think this is
Zopherus concolor by the large, rounded elytral tubercles, and the sparse pronotal punctures (no rough, raised granules); close to the Z. guttulatus Horn form, now a synonym of Z. concolor LeConte (see Triplehorn, 1972, on INFO page) This species is known from New Mexico, and Texas.

Moved to Zopherus guide page
It would be nice to get a species name. This is just a hunch: Zopherus wingcovers are said to be very thick and waxy -- the better to retain body moisture. I think the white areas on the other Zopherus depicted on this site might owe to a powdering of the wax over time, and not to a pigment or white hairs or scales. Therefore, this individual might be of a black & white species, but freshly emerged so that his waxy coating has yet to powder. In fact, the bluish tinge might be black seen through the very first stage of powdering.

Zopherus sp.
This appears to be a species of Iron-clad Beetle, genus Zopherus. They are known to survive long periods without food or water and are frequently turned into living jewelry in Mexico by glueing tiny beads and sequins to their topside, as well as a light jewelry chain with a clip or pin on it so they can be attached to a shirt or blouse.

Thanks for correction!
Well, thanks for the correction. Those orthopedic shoes are starting to chafe.

I do note, that the reference I used, White, Field Guide to the Beetles (1), places the Zoperhidae within the Tenebrionidae. However, those genera I was blithering about are not among those moved to Zoperhidae.

Guide page for Zopherus is here--we've had a copule in the past. (I wrote the guide page for family Zopheridae, I should have thought of it as a possibility!)

Patrick Coin
Durham, North Carolina

bumpy blue beetle
with a hulking pronotum - Cool! That's a new one for me.

Darkling beetle
Neat creature. Looks like a Darkling Beetle, family Tenebrionidae. Two illustrations in White, Field Guide to the Beetles, fig. 107 (1), look close: genus Philolithus and genus Stenomorpha. (I can't find any useful images on the web, just one of Stenomorpha from Ecuador.) White mentions characters characteristic of Philolithus: "The 29 species of Philolithus (8-24 mm) occur from sw. US to Wash. In these beetles the 10th antennal segment is enlarged and more or less encloses the smaller 11th segment; most also have 1-2 strong ridges on each elytron."

Looking at the full-size image you posted, I think I see an enlarged 10th segment, but it is hard to be sure. There are no strong ridges on the eltyra. If you have any more detailed views of the antennae, that might be useful.

Philolithus does mean "rock-loving", I believe, and your critter is on rocky desert pavement--that's interesting.

Those are just genera that look close in form to my untrained eye. One of the beetle experts with experience in the west may chime in.

Patrick Coin
Durham, North Carolina

Wow, thanks! I'll post another picture of the antennae, though I didn't get a very close shot. It looks to me like the 10th segment is bigger, but I don't know anything about beetle antennae.

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