Once a year, every year since moving here to the Sierra Foothills, in the fall I have always come across a very large beetle. This year, I happened to see one while I had my camera available! Come along with me while I share with you photos of this beetle and some interesting facts!
Meet the Fimbriate Rain Beetle!To really see the detail in these photos, click on each of the photos to enlarge it!
It is after one of the first rains that we have here in the foothills in fall that draws the male beetle up and out of the ground. He is searching for a female and only has about two hours to find and mate with her before he dies! These beetles live underground. The female, after mating, will return to her burrow, which goes down about 10 feet, where she will lay about 50 eggs in a spiral pattern at the bottom of her burrow.
It takes two months for the eggs to hatch. As grubs, they have powerful legs and jaws, which help them get through the hard packed earth to the roots of trees, shrubs and grasses, which is their source of food. Because of this, the rain beetle can be very destructive. The grubs will molt upwards of seven times and take about 13 years to reach maturity! Once they do, they do not eat and survive on the food eaten while they are grubs!
The female is a brown beetle, and the male is identified by its black wings and brown fur.
The fur on the body is more for protection from abrasion as it burrows than it is for warmth. The body temperature of this beetle can be as high as 95 degrees. Check out this fur!
This shot shows one of the most prominent features of this beetle: Its digging tool! This is the “V” shaped protrusion that you will see. And, those things that look like clubs coming off the face are actually antennae that are folded up!
What an amazing beetle! It is one of the largest beetles found here in the U.S.!
I hope that you enjoyed today’s post on this rarely seen beetle! Now go out and have a splendid Monday, and many thanks for stopping by to visit with me today!