Is this a scarab beetle?
Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 8:48 AM
Could you please help me identify the beetle in the attached pictures? The closest match I could find was a scarab beetle. For the past few weeks (November) our cats have been bringing these into the house. I can’t remember ever having seen them outside in the garden and I thought I was pretty familiar with most of the larger insects we have here in southwest Oregon.
They are a little over 1 inch long with a lot of what looks like fur on their underside and legs. I am sorry the pictures are so poor; we only have one of those point and shoot cameras without any setting to take close-ups of less than 3 feet.
Your site is where I go first whenever I come upon an unknown insect. I’m immensely grateful for the work you’ve put into this. Thank you so very much.
Grants Pass Oregon
Until today, we would have begun our response with “Yes this is a Scarab Beetle” and then gone on to further classify it as a Rain Beetle. We have just learned, upon visiting BugGuide, that Rain Beetles are no longer considered to be in the family Scarabaeidae, but have been classified into their own family, Pleocomidae . Only male Rain Beetles can fly. The female Rain Beetle remains buried deep underground in a burrow and must wait for a male Rain Beetle to locate her so they can mate. According to BugGuide, there is a single genus, Pleocoma, in the family Pleocomidae, and the genus has 34 species that range in: “Western Coastal North America, from Southern Washington to northern Baja California, Mexico and Utah. ” The individual species of Rain Beetle often has a very limited range. Rain Beetle Grubs feed underground on the roots of oaks and conifers. We are thrilled to have your images and letter for our archives, and we will be creating a new beetle category for Rain Beetles and moving the earlier postings out of the Scarab Beetle category.
Thank you so much for your answer; I hadn’t really expected a response as I am sure you must be besieged with questions. This made my day!
The next time one of the cats presents me with a Rain Beetle I will try to get better pictures.
Thanks again for the terrific site.