Saturday, February 23, 2013

Tougher than a Ford Truck

          If you have ever had the opportunity to pin an Ironclad beetle (Zopherinae), you know that they are the tanks of the insect world. They come equipped with an armor like exoskeleton and their legs can be folded in such a way that if they are under a lot of pressure, they'll be safely tucked against the side of the body with less chance of getting injured. I have ever read reports of larger species being ran over by trucks; leaving a crater in the road, then walking away seemingly unharmed.

 Phloeodes diabolicus (LeConte)

Phloeodes plicatus (LeConte)

I've had the pleasure of collecting both of the currently described species of Phloeodes from Mexico northward. P. diabolicus, I have found several times in the Central Valley. P. pilcatus, my friend spotted for me along a sea side trail when vacationing to southern California. Both of which only occure in Oregon(?) southward in the west desert regions. There are quite a few of these beetles that stand out; most notably in tropical countries.

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