Subject: Black & Maroon Fuzzy Beetle
Location: Carson City, NV
April 18, 2014 11:53 pm
Hi Bugman & crew! We took a mountain hike this afternoon & found this beauty. I’d say it was just under an inch long. Found him on a gorgeous 70-degree day in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern Nevada – Carson City, specifically. I’ve tried to search the web & your site for identification but every search wants it to be a velvet ant, which I know it’s definitely not! Thanks for your help!
Signature: Michelle Pedersen
You are correct. This is not a Velvet Ant. It is a Scarab in the subfamily Rutelinae, the Shining Leaf Chafers, and sadly, it does not have a common name, but we have identified it as Paracotalpa ursina. There is also an image on CalPhotos where it is identified as a Little Bear, a reference to its scientific species name. The Sam Wells Bug Page has a nice account of an encounter with Little Bears near Fresno.
Correction: Paracotalpa granicollis
Thanks to a comment from Gene St. Denis, we now know this is a different member of the same genus.