Looks and acts like a “Junebug”, but comes in the Fall around here
November 12, 2009
Two people have told me these bugs, which are large, clumsy and hit the window at night, are “pine beetles” or “pine borers”, which I have a hard time believing. We do live amongst a lot of oaks, cedars, yews, spruce, etc., but these guys act and look like June bugs and will not be around long.
Sierra Nevada foothills, N. California, 2400 ft.
These are most definitely Rain Beetles in the family Pleocomidae, an unusual group of beetles with fascinating life histories. Only the males are able to fly, and female Rain Beetles live many feet underground. Males emerge from the ground after a rain and fly off in search of a mate. There are many species of Rain Beetles, but their individual ranges are quite limited, and an expert is required to distinguish one species from another. There are some nice images on BugGuide. We read an awesome article about Rain Beetles in the LA Times this spring, but alas, the link online indicates that there is scheduled maintenance on the site and we are uncertain when it will be available. In lieu of not being able to link to the LA Times article, we are linking to a Bay Nature website with some information.