brown leatherwing beetle
I found this handsome beetle on the balcony in between taking pictures of caterpillars and moths that I've been raising. From other photos I have, this soldier beetle was about 18 mm long, but I've already posted enough pics of rulers for May 2, 2011. The elytra were pubescent (fuzzy), which is difficult to tell from pictures alone. The second photo is showing it taking flight; it was alive and well when I released it after its photo session. Due to a previous post from this day, I'd like to note that I usually don't purposely kill insects. Evans and Hogue point out in their Field Guide to Beetles of California the black knees and tarsi, which I consider to be significant physical characteristics when distinguishing this brown leatherwing beetle found only in CA from other soldier beetles.