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Pleocoma sp.


Peter Clausen
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Here are my new prized beetles! A friend at work brought them to me a few days ago. She found them in her driveway one morning. There are two females and I've put them on dirt. The smallest is 28mm and the larger is just slightly longer. Wish me luck!

 

I'm not sure what species they are, but I'd really like to know!

beetle3.jpg

beetle2.jpg

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The females look so different from the males with their little tarsi and relatively minimal hairs, but I've never seen a female in person. Maybe P. oregonensis though I imagine there are a number of species from your state. Have you tried your local ag. extension office?

I think they're rather short-lived as adults but I'm sure it would be interesting if you were to find them easy to rear in captivity.

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I lifted up her elytra, but only 1/2 way. I could not see wings. This species turns out to be Pleocoma dubitabilis. They are rarely seen, but I read that they occur by the thousands at one local Christmas Tree farm where they are considered "pests". I'm not sure if the larval phases take 10+ years in this species, but my guess is YES!

 

I think males are smaller and black.

 

I did offer some watered down maple syrup. The milk jug lid that it was in was tipped over, so I'm not sure if they drank it. I have the 2 beetles together in one terrarium. Many Pleocoma photos seem to show groups of these beetles together, so I think it is okay to put them together. If they live another week or two I will place the females in a container outside to see if males fly to them, but it has to be a warm, wet night, I think.

 

The larvae seem to feed on live tree roots, but the adults of some species are not known to feed (I think).

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