NM AZ Road Trip Photos: Swarms, Bug Lust &
On our way to visit friends in AZ crossing far western New
Mexico we encountered … Following that encounter, we caught
a beetle foursome "in the act." My gosh… bug lust.
Any idea what type of beetles these are? Thanks for any info.
you can provide. Feel free to post the photos.
Lori L. Paul
Altadena, CA

Hi again Lori,
You submitted so many excellent photos, we wanted to post
another. These are mating Leatherwings, a type of Soldier
Beetle. We believe it is Chauliognathus omissus which can
be found on BugGuide
and is native to Arizona and vicinity. It looks very similar
to an eastern species, the Pennsylvania Leatherwing or Goldenrod
Soldier Beetle. Your photo doesn’t truly depict a “foursome”
since they are two pairs on different flower heads. Since
beetles and other insects don’t generally have a bedroom in
which to retreat for privacy, they have no choice but to procreate
in the open air. While such behavior might be unseemly in
humans, it is completely natural for insects. It is sad that
procreating in the great outdoors is taboo behavior for “civilized”
humans who are being denied the right to truly commune with nature lest they risk incarceration.

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