Subject: Large brown chirping beetle?
Location: Albuquerque, NM
July 1, 2012 11:10 am
This big guy flew into the side of my head during a drum circle in the woods that follow the Rio Grande as it runs through Albuquerque. It made a very audible chirp or squeak, in the dark I actually thought it was a bat at first. Others at the circle had seen them before, but we couldn’t find a name for it.
This is a Root Borer in the subfamily Prioninae and you can see many North American examples on Bugguide. We believe your individual is in the genus Prionus. The sound you heard is caused by the beetle rubbing parts of its body together, an action known as Stridulation. The Free Dictionary online has a nice definition of Stridulation.