Porch light redheads
Location: Highland Park (Northeast Los Angeles)
April 30, 2011 1:21 am
A bunch of these guys just showed up around our porch light. They don’t do much. We never noticed them here before.
Greetings from neighboring Mt Washington. Thank you so much for supplying this image of a Brown Leatherwing, formerly Cantharis consors. They are attracted to our own porch lights each spring and we have been meaning to document their activity because it seems to us their numbers are more numerous this year. Here is what Charles Hogue wrote in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin in our second edition from 1993: “Adults frequently come to porch lights in the late spring (April to May). They give off a strong unpleasant musty odor when handled or crushed and may also exude a yellow fluid. Little else is known of the habits of the adults, and the early stages remain undescribed. Both are probably ground dwellers that live in plant litter and prye on other insects.” BugGuide provides the taxonomic change to the name, now accepted as Pacificanthia consors, but there is little information on the species nor is there a common name listed. BugGuide does provide somewhat more information on the family page, including: “Adults mostly on vegetation, often on flowers; larvae in leaf litter, loose soil, rotten wood, etc” and “Adults eat nectar, pollen, other insects; larvae are fluid-feeding predators, feed on insect eggs and larvae.” We will try to flesh out this posting a bit more if we are able to locate any specific information on the Brown Leatherwing. While this is probably a more appropriate candidate for our May Bug of the Month, we couldn’t resist posting a photo of an unidentified Click Beetle that we also found at our Mt Washington location.