Subject: Pleocoma shastensis Male
Location: Logging Road South of Deadhorse Summit 6 miles , Hwy 89 , Shasta County, California, USA
November 22, 2016 9:46 am
I headed up north to Dead Horse summit on Highway 89 in a radical wind and rain storm October 14th and 15th 2016 , Looking for Pleocoma shastensis Dyke 1933 . In the howling darkness south of Susanville on Highway 395 , 5 semi-tractor trailer rigs were blown over and the 5th one was right in front of me. The wind not only tipped the big rig over it lifted the Whole rig Over the highway fence and put it 40 feet from the road. Amazingly the driver was OK after crawling out and he had me call 911 for him. At times I would stop several times and wait for the gusts to pass , making the speed limit was not possible . I then continued way north past Susanville to 8 miles south of Dead horse summit and set out my home made black lite traps the next two nights and waited in the Pouring rain and howling winds. I was not disappointed ! The traps received a very nice series of males , every trap had 3 to 5 males in it. During the days I walked the Forrest service dirt roads in the immediate areas and located many more dead and dying , males from the flood conditions, as well as some still flying until Noon. It appears that the males will fly until out of energy once activated that DAY. They were not flying for several days at day break for 15 to 30 minutes at a time , as other Pleocoma do. This would explain why they have been Extremely hard to find ! Many males had been driven over by other trucks on the roads in the immediate area and I have a couple handfuls to glue and repair this winter.Male sizes were from 23 mm to 34 mm . 48 degrees to 65 during the day and Heavy rain with soaked Muddy Earth. Cheers ! Gene St. Denis Sierra Nevada Research
Signature: Gene St. Denis
Goodness Gene, what a harrowing experience you had. Thanks for providing us with the images.
And , I Found a Prize !! A Gorgeous female Pleocoma shastensis was just emerged and had a dirt lid on her head like a trap door spider waiting in her hole ! Two males were on the ground headed her way . Many males had been driven over by other trucks on the roads in the immediate area and I have a couple handfuls to glue and repair this winter. Cheers ! Gene St. Denis Sierra Nevada Research
Hi again Gene,
Thanks again for providing so many excellent images of a rarely seen species, an even rarer sighting of a female Rain Beetle and the awesome image you have of the mating process.