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

Histerids are predatory beetles. But while fairly diverse and common in many areas, they are seldom seen. They are small, generally secretive beetles, spending most of their time underground. When disturbed they can retract their head and appendages, much like a tiny turtle.

Seven species of histerids have been found at Coal Oil Point, all but one of which are coastal specialists. Most of these species are found beneath beach 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 been confirmed 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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