Want to know what this is…
What kind of insect is this?
David P. Summers, SETI Institute
NASA Ames Research Center
Moffett Field, CA
You have told us much more about yourself than you did about the Cerambycid Beetle in your photo. We do not want to assume that because you are in California, that your Longhorn Beetle is also from California. We would really like to try to identify the species and would appreciate confirmation that the beetle was photographed in California. It really is a strikingly beautiful specimen. We will check if Eric Eaton recognizes it.
Yes, the longhorn beetle is Crossidius coralinus, a common species in arid lands of the western U.S. Adult beetles in the genus Crossidius in general can be abundant on late summer composite flowers, especially rabbitbrush. I believe the larve feed in the roots of sagebrush, but don’t quote me there.
It wasn’t photographed in California. The photo was taken in Zion National Park, Utah, on the Paarus Trail (in the early afternoon?). The Paarus trail winds long the Virgin river at the bottom of the canyon. If it matters, it was bright and sunny but there had been a brief but heavy shower a couple hours before.