Currently viewing the category: "Rain Beetles"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Pleocoma staff Schaufuss 1870 male
Location: 4 miles South East of Grass Valley , Nevada County, California, USA
November 23, 2016 9:31 am
On October 16th and 17th 2016 ( during rain showers ) I headed south of Grass Valley on the side of the road and collected a very nice series of Pleocoma staff Schaufuss 1870 males both days crawling on the ground ,several run over and squashed by trucks, a couple netted in the air and 6 in my homemade blacklight traps .The male staff started flying as soon as the sun went down until dawn , which was the heaviest Fights . Male sizes ranged from 27 to 32 mm . The flights for a few males lasted until 8 o’clock that morning . These guys are stocky and have ” Amazing Colors ” ! Also stopped by a couple days ago and picked up a half dozen dead / barley alive males under lites. Cheers ! Gene St. Denis Sierra Nevada Research
Signature: Gene St. Denis

Rain Beetles

Rain Beetles

Hi Gene,
All your recent images are making us envious that we have never witnessed the flight of Rain Beetles.

Rain Beetle

Rain Beetle

Rain Beetle

Rain Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Pleocoma hirticollis
Location: North of Gibson Hill, Hwy 20, Lake County, California, USA
November 22, 2016 9:58 am
Mike Seth and I headed down to High Way 20 north of Gibson Hill ( east of clear lake ) during the storms and set out our custom Blacklite Traps before sunrise and waited. The fights started at 6:55am and We had a total flight time of 12 minutes with a nice series each Of Pleocoma hirticollis males ! For a Bonus we also got 3 ” Newbies” yet to be discribed … 52 degrees , calm and Rain . Ground Soaked and very muddy. We had to put chains on while of pavement. Cheers ! Gene St. Denis Sierra Nevada Research
Signature: Gene St. Denis

Rain Beetle

Rain Beetle

Hi Gene,
Thanks for keeping WTB? readers informed on your Rain Beetle project.  Many of the storms you are describing did not hit us in southern California.

Rain Beetle

Rain Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Pleocoma shastensis Male
Location: Logging Road South of Deadhorse Summit 6 miles , Hwy 89 , Shasta County, California, USA
November 22, 2016 9:46 am
I headed up north to Dead Horse summit on Highway 89 in a radical wind and rain storm October 14th and 15th 2016 , Looking for Pleocoma shastensis Dyke 1933 . In the howling darkness south of Susanville on Highway 395 , 5 semi-tractor trailer rigs were blown over and the 5th one was right in front of me. The wind not only tipped the big rig over it lifted the Whole rig Over the highway fence and put it 40 feet from the road. Amazingly the driver was OK after crawling out and he had me call 911 for him. At times I would stop several times and wait for the gusts to pass , making the speed limit was not possible . I then continued way north past Susanville to 8 miles south of Dead horse summit and set out my home made black lite traps the next two nights and waited in the Pouring rain and howling winds. I was not disappointed ! The traps received a very nice series of males , every trap had 3 to 5 males in it. During the days I walked the Forrest service dirt roads in the immediate areas and located many more dead and dying , males from the flood conditions, as well as some still flying until Noon. It appears that the males will fly until out of energy once activated that DAY. They were not flying for several days at day break for 15 to 30 minutes at a time , as other Pleocoma do. This would explain why they have been Extremely hard to find ! Many males had been driven over by other trucks on the roads in the immediate area and I have a couple handfuls to glue and repair this winter.Male sizes were from 23 mm to 34 mm . 48 degrees to 65 during the day and Heavy rain with soaked Muddy Earth. Cheers ! Gene St. Denis Sierra Nevada Research
Signature: Gene St. Denis

Rain Beetle

Male Rain Beetle

Goodness Gene, what a harrowing experience you had.  Thanks for providing us with the images.

Rain Beetle

Male Rain Beetle

Rain Beetle

Male Rain Beetle

And , I Found a Prize !! A Gorgeous female Pleocoma shastensis was just emerged and had a dirt lid on her head like a trap door spider waiting in her hole ! Two males were on the ground headed her way . Many males had been driven over by other trucks on the roads in the immediate area and I have a couple handfuls to glue and repair this winter. Cheers ! Gene St. Denis Sierra Nevada Research

Mating Rain Beetles

Mating Rain Beetles

Hi again Gene,
Thanks again for providing so many excellent images of a rarely seen species, an even rarer sighting of a female Rain Beetle and the awesome image you have of the mating process.

Rarely seen female Rain Beetle

Rarely seen female Rain Beetle

Rarely seen female Rain Beetle

Rarely seen female Rain Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of bug is this
Location: California Sierras
November 4, 2016 5:49 pm
I found this beetle yesterday November 3rd. I tried to identify it myself but no luck
Signature: Paul

Rain Beetle

Rain Beetle

Dear Paul,
This is a Rain Beetle in the genus
Pleocoma, a group that is endemic to western North America, mainly California and Oregon.  Your individual is a male.  Females are flightless and they live underground.  The winter rains stimulate metamorphosis and males fly in the rain to seek mates.  Are you able to provide us with more specific location information?  We will contact Gene St. Denis to see if he is able to identify the species.

Hi Daniel
Thank you for your help- I believe your right about it being a Rain Beetle. I went to your link and saw it referenced HWY 88 and Amador County. I am located about 35 miles south in the sierras in Calaveras County. Where by the way Mark Twain wrote the Calaveras Jumping Frog story (if you heard of that). I am in the town of Arnold elevation 4000 feet. The day I found it was right after a heavy rain which was what your link said
Thank you for your help!

Thanks for the additional location detail.  We hope Gene St. Denis can provide a species name for you.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Pleocoma hovorei La Rue 2007
Location: Paynes Creek, Tehama Co. California,USA
January 26, 2016 10:04 am
I went up to Paynes creek off of Highway 36 , west of Red Bluff on November 15, 2015 and set up my Home Made Black lights Vein Traps at 5:00 am and waited. It had and was raining @ 48 degree ambriant air temp with light winds. Soon several nice Black Pleocoma males started flying and several went into the traps and several went right by with me … with me chasing right after them in a hurry even with my net ! Soon 6:45 am sounded shut down time and I packed it up . These Shiny Black ” Little Fuzzy Butts ” were named after my Mentor from the 1960’s and 1970’s , the Late ” Frank Hovore ” a Giant of the Entomology World and One Great Man . He is missed by all. Gene St. Denis -Sierra Nevada Research- South lake Tahoe , California , USA
Signature: Gene St. Denis

Rain Beetle: Pleocoma hovorei

Rain Beetle: Pleocoma hovorei

Good Morning Gene,
We are so lucky that you continue to provide us with a diverse sampling of the unique California Rain Beetles.  We see your images are also featured on BugGuide.  We also located this marvelous YouTube video of mating
Pleocoma hovorei.

Rain Beetle: Pleocoma hovorei

Rain Beetle: Pleocoma hovorei

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Los Angeles County Rain Beeltes
Location: Sanberg area, Los Angeles County, CA USA
January 23, 2016 6:43 pm
Here are some pictures of the Beautiful Pleocoma badia hirsuta males that Joe and I collected near Sanberg, Los Angeles County, CA with Black lite vein traps from 5:00 am to 6:45am on Jan. 14 and 15 , 2016 . Scattered rain 52 degrees with soaking wet ground . We tried to find some female Pleocoma …..but, as usual they were Hiding very well from us. One of these days … Gene St. Denis -Sierra Nevada Research – South Lake Tahoe
Signature: Gene St. Denis

Rain Beetle

Rain Beetle

Hi Again Gene,
Thanks for providing us with your latest Rain Beetle images as well as providing the conditions surrounding the collection. 

Rain Beetle

Rain Beetle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination