Catching endemic beetles

Just before the holiday weekend, my field crew finished our main field project and had the opportunity to join Idaho Fish & Game for a day field-trip. Many Burley and Shoshone Field Offices’ CBG Interns were able to join Ross Winton with Idaho Fish & Game on a hunt for a beetles on different species of Eriogonum, commonly known as Buckwheat.

Unfortunately, I know pretty much nothing about buts/insects/arachnids whatsoever, but I got into contact with Ross again and he filled me in on a few things about what we were looking for that day.

Our goal was to find any Chrysobothris beetle on Eriogonum or Crepis species, however the jackpot was Chrysobothris idahoensis, a wood-boring jewel beetle. This species is an Idaho endemic and a species of greatest conservation need. Ross let me know that, “they live as juveniles (larvae and pupae) in the roots of Eriogonum and emerge and often visit flowers as adults in June and July.” So, in addition to sweeping above Eriogonum flowers, we also dug up some roots of that same genus to perhaps find beetles emerging later.

Ross with mouth‑operated aspirator to aid in capturing samples to easily transfer them into vials (not pictured, his beetle-head belt buckle)

During the first hour or so we split up over the landscape switching off duties between sweeping and digging for roots. My first time sweeping, I found it, I had found the jewel beetle! I swept over strictly Eriogonum species for about 20-30 minutes and my beetle made it quickly into a sample vial full of acetone and ethanol. The little beetle was somewhat shiny and green, had a square head and a pointy butt, easily distinguishable from other insects in the same vial. My name went on the specimen and we all were excited to find more that day. Unfortunately, no more were found on the site, possibly too late in the season to see their emergence.

Chrysobothris idahoensis, species of greatest conservation need

A quick glimpse of other neat creatures we caught.

Again, sorry I know nothing about entomology

A giant, gross/cool wasp?

Other beetley things

Pollinator on a mariposa lily

I’m glad I was able to get in touch with Ross again and we all got the chance to work a day with an entomologist. So neat! 10/10 would recommend to a friend

-SG

 

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