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My first Meloe - Meloe barbarus - female

My first Meloe - Meloe barbarus - Female
Picture Rocks, NW of Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, USA
March 7, 2010
Size: 24 mm
Rainy day, Temp. in the sixties, under dry cow dung.
I don't know which characteristics are necessary for species ID, I can take other photos as required. This is only the second Meloe from AZ in the guide, the other one unidentifiable, so I'd like to get to the species for this one

Images of this individual: tag all
My first Meloe - Meloe barbarus - female My first Meloe - Meloe barbarus - female

Moved from Oil Beetles.

John Pinto: "I like it but can't be sure of the species. ...
"...If I had to guess I'd say Meloe vandykei Pinto & Selander - but its a female and would need a close look at features other than what I can see on the photo. I wonder if the locality was at a sandy site - typical for Meloe that venture from their mesic homes out to desertic areas."

I collected it
I can send it to John Pinto or take more photos. It's still alive.

Yes, sandy
very close (5m) to a wash that comes from a little peak of the Tucson Mountains and that has been flowing somewhat during the last week...did she float down? That would explain that I haven't found any before - this one was right at our property fence. The little mountain peak is inaccessible because of a limestone quarry.

John Pinto's answer
after he got the specimen:
Hi Margarethe:
Lady Meloe arrived today in good condition. She is Meloe barbarus LeConte. In the photo the pronotum seemed longer than it is - thus my guess on the other species - which by the way it is totally unrelated to. M. barbarus belongs to a group of species in which the male does not have antennae with the C-shaped modification. Your specimen was full of eggs. Too bad she didn't oviposit; we don't have direct evidence for the larvae of this species.

Regarding Arizona records for barbarus. In our 1970 revision, only 3 AZ state records were indicated. Since then I have come across a single female from 6 mi. W of Silverbell, also Pima Co. It was collected January 10, 2002. So this is a very uncommon species in Arizona. Consider that Floyd Werner, a meloid specialist at Univ. Arizona for decades, apparently never collected it.

I haven't seen one of these anywhere in years!

Moved from ID Request.

Meloe niger, female(?)
I forgot I have The Meloidae of AZ by Werner et al (1966). They list three species. Meloe impressus is considered a fall species and more chocolate-brown in color. M. laevis has the last four antennal segments thicker than the previous segments, apparently in both sexes. Other species may have been found/described from AZ, so barring that this is most-likely M. niger.

Thanks, Blaine
I am trying to get a copy of that helpful paper. I will also try the U o A collection. Should I move it to M. niger for now?

The UofA collection
should be very helpful. Floyd Werner worked there until the end of his career and the Meloidae are well-represented and well-curated. We can leave in Meloe fo now, pending Pinto's comments.

Meloe yes...
nice! I never saw these all my years in AZ. Vassili will probably send to Pinto, who may be able to get a species ID.

holding my breath

Is there a revision of this genus?

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