Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Southern California/High Desert
March 30, 2015 8:29 am
I found a really pretty green beetle on campus today. Some mean boys were throwing it, and I thought it was dead, but when I picked it up it moved a little bit! I’d like to know what kind of bug it is, so I can maybe save it, and if not, maybe I’ll keep it.
Can you help me?
Signature: Ms. London
Dear Mrs. London,
This gorgeous Scarab Beetle is a Shining Leaf Chafer in the subfamily Rutelinae that does not have a distinct common name, and its scientific name, Paracotalpa puncticollis, is quite a mouthful. It is pictured on BugGuide, but there is not much additional information. According to the Coleopterists Bulletin: “Paracotalpa puncticollis is usually found in pinyon-juniper areas, and appears to be associated with plats of the genus Juniperus. Observations of adults emerging from litter at the base of juniper may indicate that larvae feed on roots of this plant. Adults have been observed feeding on needles of juniper, and analysis of fecal material has confirmed this adult diet.” Because of your kindness, we are tagging your submission with the Bug Humanitarian Award.