Subject:  Enormous May Beetle in Winter?
Geographic location of the bug:  Arnold, CA (Sierra Nevadas)
Date: 11/28/2018
Time: 09:52 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there,
Two of these huge beetles were banging on my glass door before dawn today at my house in the sierra forest. They were attracted to the lights inside and my porch light,
They were hitting the glass so loudly I thought someone was knocking. And of course as soon as I opened the door to take a look, they invited themselves in. They look like May beetles but were huge, at least an inch and a half long, with fine hair all over. They were pretty noisy, slow fliers, banging into everything. I did some poking around the internet and the closest bug I could find was the European common cockchafer.
They seem like an odd bug to see in winter in the mountains (4,000ft)-temperatures here have been dipping to the 30s at night for some time. We’ve also had drenching rain over the past week. The color was much more rust/red than in the picture.
What are these giant mystery bugs? Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Sarah J

Hi again!
I now believe these are rain beetles.I happened to see the word “rain” on your beetle list, clicked, and there they are. Just letting you know since it seems folks seem to be looking for these. We’re getting a lot of rain here!
Thanks for this great web resource!

Rain Beetle

Dear Sarah,
We agree with your assessment that this is a Rain Beetle.  Only male Rain Beetles have wings, and they often fly during pouring rains.  There are many creatures that appear after a rain, but Rain Beetles are rather unique in that they are often only found during a rain.  Male Rain Beetles are able to locate underground females that are flightless.  Perhaps Gene St. Denis, who sends us images of Rain Beetles he collects, will have some idea of the species based on your location as populations of Rain Beetles are often quite isolated.

Location: Arnold, California

2 Responses to First Rain Beetle sighting of the Season

  1. Gene St. Denis says:

    I believe that you had an early flight of Pleocoma hoppingi males . And of coarse a Male Pleocoma hoppingi . Cheers ! Gene St.Denis Sierra Nevada Research

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