A Guide to the Insects of the Coal Oil Point Reserve

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Funded in part by the UCSB Pearl Chase Fund

Last updated 08/15/2005
  Insects of Coal Oil Point > Guide > Coleoptera - Beetles > Histeridae

Histeridae - Clown beetles

Histeridsare predatory beetles. But while fairly diverse and common in manyareas, they are seldom seen. They are small, generally secretivebeetles, spending most of their time underground. When disturbed theycan retract their head and appendages, much like a tiny turtle.

Sevenspecies of histerids have been found at Coal Oil Point, all but one ofwhich are coastal specialists. Most of these species are found beneathbeach wrack, where they prey on the eggs, larvae and pupae of kelp flies. A beautiful black and red dune specialist, Spilodiscus sellatus,is suspected also to occur at the Reserve. But it has not beenconfirmed yet. (Please let us know if you're lucky enough to see it!)

Histerid Photos
(click to enlarge)

Neopachylopus sulcifrons

Hypocaccus lucidulus

Hypocaccus gaudens

Hypocaccus bigemmeus

Euspilotus scissus

Spilodiscus sellatus

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