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Red and Black Beetle - Aulicus edwardsii

Red and Black Beetle - Aulicus edwardsii
Tumamoc Hill, Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, USA
August 22, 2006
Size: 15-20mm
Chilled it, so a little unnatural looking, but it's OK. Did give ID a try, but I know just enough to become more confused when trying to narrow down. It's a mystery to me. Did note segments at end of antennae enlarged and doesn't look hairy. Also, head, pronotum and abdomen about the same width. Was hanging on Boerhaavia stem on cloudy day. Wish pics were better. Someone will recognize, no doubt. Really curious.

Images of this individual: tag all
Red and Black Beetle - Aulicus edwardsii Red and Black Beetle - Aulicus edwardsii

Moved from Aulicus edwardsi.

Moved from Aulicus.

Aulicus edwardsi
I asked Cleridae authority Weston Opitz to view and comment on this beetle. Here is what he says:

"This one is Aulicus edwardsi (Horn). The genus has an interesting biology. Adults lay their eggs on grasshopper ootheca for larvae to feed on grasshopper embryos."

Thanks Jim
I've been in the field working and out of touch for the last 9 days, hence the delayed response. The natural history of this critter is fascinating. Hope to see more of this kind of information on Bugguide as the site grows and matures.

Some of the natural histories of insects on this Web site are as outlandish as anything I've heard of. You can't put their stories on a pin label in a mounted collection, but they can be easily entered here in our digital image collection.

Moved from Checkered Beetles.

Enoclerus sp. (Cleridae)

Thanks for the great Web site, Adalbert!
I've bookmarked it for future reference.

This beetle is not in the genus you suggest. Click on any of those thumbnails to see the full-sized photos and you see a beetle about as hairy (setae covered) as a kiwi fruit. This beetle is far less hairy and far larger. Even disregarding the setae and size issues, I failed to see a beetle of these markings on any of the four pages of thumbnails in that link.

Checkered beetle.
A colorful member of the Cleridae family.

Freshly shaved?
Most clerids are on the fuzzy side. This is the least pubescent one I've seen. Very nice!

Thanks Eric and Jim
Consulting my limited resources, I had thought Clerid, but my beetle book said they were hairy and this one looks like it was shellacked with enamel. So I guess not all Clerids are hairy?

One of the clerids I collected and photographed in New Mexico is barely pubescent and the largest one I've seen. Not as shiny or pretty as yours.

last communication I took a longer, more thorough look at my Peterson's Field guide (yup, my only book resource) and wonder if it could possibly be in the genus Phyllobaenus? You seem to know the beetles pretty well, hazard a guess. One thing that argues against Phyllobaenus is the relatively small size (compared to this brute) cited in Peterson's.

Thanks for drawing me bookward :-)
My best guess based on dorsal views and antennal shapes presented in the Cleridae section of American Beetles is that this is a male member of the genus Aulicus (subfamily clerinae), which can range from 4 - 20 mm.

There are ten species from the southcentral and western US, eight of which are listed for Arizona (A. antennatus, apachei, dentipes, edwardsii, femoralis, humeralis, nigriventris, and terrestris). Some at least have red coloration. Unfortunately, I found not a single Web image from this (by description) very attractive genus. I guess your image would be the first :-) Now for a species name...

Thanks for your
dedication! Genus is pretty good for out west here - good bit of detective work.

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