What is it?
Today April 26, a bunch of these beetles just showed up and they are everywhere! Never seen them around here before and the fact that they are in numbers makes me wonder…
Anyhow, before I smash them or roast them and eat them, thought I better find out what they are. I did review your many fine photos and saw a couple similar but not exact specimens. Thus the inquiry. I generally don’t use pesticides for all the obvious reasons. So, if these guys are problematic will the birds eat them? Thanks,
Found them in the lawn and around foundation plantings.
Interestingly, when we tried to use BugGuide to identify what species of Caterpillar Hunter in the genus Calosoma you have, we found an identical request. Your request came first, but because we are a very small operation, and the posting is done internally, not through contributor posting, the image on BugGuide was posted first. We will see if an answer is provided. Our money is on Calosoma semilaeve, which seems to be a well documented California species. Calosoma cancellatum is another possibility. Frequest, well-spaced rains in southern California in the past six months are resulting in good vegetation growth and an increase in caterpillar populations. This means a food source for predators, including your Caterpillar Hunter.