Subject: ID a beetle
Location: Southcentral California, desert
March 12, 2013 11:34 am
bugman: I was recently in Joshua Tree National park and saw two different beetles. One was clearly the Pinacate or Darkling (also called stink bug, clown beetle), but the other one, shown below I could not identify.
It was about the size of my little finger’s nail, so about 3/8of an inch or so across, black and round-backed. As you can see from the photo, it does not have a protruding head. We were in the western (Mojave Desert) portion of the park. It was a fast running bug.
Any help in identifying it would be appreciated.
Signature: Alan Palisoul
Eric Eaton, who has been a tremendous help to us through the years, advised us long ago that if we couldn’t identify a beetle, chances were good it was a Darkling Beetle, so that is where we looked. We believe we may have identified your beetle as a member of the genus Eusattus, based on this photo of Eusattus reticulatus posted to BugGuide. We will contact Eric to see if he can confirm or correct our identification.
Eric Eaton Responds
Definitely a species of Eusattus, but I am by no means an expert on Tenebrionidae. I’m not even sure who the contemporary experts are these days. Triplehorn is still alive, and very courteous and helpful, but I hate to bother him. He deserves a peaceful retirement 🙂
Daniel: Thanks so much for getting back to me and doing so this quickly. IOn this same trip I got a couple of nice shots of a Darkling, one with it standing on it’s head. That was fun.
Thanks again, look forward to any more information you get.