Saturday 18 April 2009, 10 PM
We went to the grocery store to buy a steak to eat with the four edible morels that sprouted under our carob tree between the Digitalis. We we went out to pick the morels, we noticed the silhouette of a large beetle on the screen door. We have never seen such a large beautiful black Click Beetle before in Los Angeles. We captured the beetle and measured it at a whopping 1 1/8 inches, and we tried unsuccessfully to photograph it.
It is dark and we have to manually focus, and the beetle was moving fast. Furthermore, the batteries are low and we didn’t buy more at the market. After taking four blurry images, we put the Click Beetle in the refrigerator to cool down and hopefully slow its metabolism. We tried to identify this beauty on BugGuide, and we believe it may be in the genus Lanelater. It looks startlingly like Lanelater sallei, but that species is from the Gulf States. A pdf on the genus Lanelater that we located online mentions another species from Arizona, Lanelater schottii, and BugGuide has an image of that species as well. Can our beetle be Lanelater schottii? We plan to buy new batteries tomorrow and taking some better images by daylight. While photographing this Click Beetle on the kitchen table, we turned it on its back several times. It can right itself in one or two tries. It only flips about 2 inches in the air.
We chilled the Click Beetle and got a clearer image, but we hope to get new batteries and shoot it again tomorrow morning.
Update: Sunday 19 April 2009, 2:04 PM
We kept the Unknown Click Beetle in the refrigerator overnight, and it paid off. We managed to get numerous images before the beetle became too active.
We have decent shots of both the dorsal and ventral view.
The spines at the tips of the thorax are quite prominent. The heat has set in in LA and we are expecting highs of 95º today and tomorrow. There were countless beetles and moths at the porch light.
This Click Beetle is large and very black. Now that we are certain we have good photo documentation, we are releasing our pretty Click Beetle and waiting for Eric Eaton or another reader to assist us in the proper identification.