Location: Los Angeles
March 18, 2015 4:50 pm
Found the way! I posted on the blog few minutes ago.
Is the bug in the pictures a Calosoma?
I found them in my backyard in West Central Los Angeles.
We agree that this is a Caterpillar in the genus Calosoma, probably Calosoma semilaeve, which we named Bug of the Month in May 2008 because of the sudden appearance of large numbers of the beetles in Southern California. For several years, we have noticed increasing numbers of Whitelined Sphinx Moths and their caterpillars might also be getting more plentiful in the area, providing a food source for the Caterpillar Hunters and an increase in their populations as well. These cyclical appearances are all part of nature dealing with bountiful food supplies, and then dearths of sightings when food is scarce.
Update: April 11, 2015
Wayne’s Word Palomar blog has this to say about Calosoma semilaeve: “Common calosoma (Calosoma semilaeve), a large beetle that runs free during daytime hours in search of prey. With its long cursorial legs it runs very fast. When disturbed or threatened it emits a foul oder that smells like burning electrical insulation.”