Monday, October 20, 2008

The Oregon Rain Beetle

With the cool weather and rain comes the Oregon Rain Beetle. Today (Monday, Oct. 20), I saw 4 beautiful males flying along the Amazon Headwaters trail in the rain. The females do not fly. These Scarab beetles are in the genus Pleocoma, and there are several species in the northwest. The larvae are external feeders on the roots of trees and have a very long life cycle estimated at 9-13 years. Thirty-five years ago there was a push to make them the state insect but they lost out to the Oregon Swallowtail. Look for them when you are hiking in the woods.

1 comment:

Richard Westcott said...

Your photo must be Pleocoma simi, which is not the Oregon rain beetle. The latter is P. oregonensis and is not found this side of the Cascades. Pleocoma simi has been known to occur over a wide area of SW Oregon to as far north as on Spencer's Butte near Eugene. I am an entomologist who was much involved with the effort to have the Oregon rain beetle selected as our state insect, starting in 1969.