April 3, 2011 10:46 am
This Beetle was in Josha Tree park April 2,2011.
In a relatively short time, we identified your beetle as a Shining Leaf Chafer, Paracotalpa puncticollis, by utilizing the database on BugGuide, but sadly, there is not much information on the species. There are several photos of specimens from Joshua Tree, including this wonderful image. The Texas Beetle Information website identifies it as a Punctate Little Bear. We also located an article from The Coleopterists Bulletin, vol. 26, No. 3 (Sep., 1972), pp. 97-101 that states: “Paracotalpa puncticollis is usually found in pinyon-juniper areas, and appears to be associated with plants of the genus Juniperus. Observations of adults emerging from litter at the base of juniper may indicate that larvae feed on roots of this plant. Adults have been observed feeding on needles of juniper, and analysis of fecal material has confirmed this adult diet. Attempts to find larvae on roots of Juniperus were unsuccessful, and no information is available on the larvae.”