Dichelonyx valida “May Beetle” Scarabaeidae

Lolo National Forest, Bitterroot Mountains, MT
April 19, 2015
Robert Niese

These charismatic, iridescent Scarab beetles are relatively common throughout the Pacific Northwest in the spring. The adults forage on the leaves of many species of conifers and deciduous trees. While the taxonomy for these species is still quite a mess, our region has two distinct species groups. Members of the D. valida group have a large ridge down the center of their pronotum while members of the D. backi group lack a ridge.

Phyllophaga sp. “May Beetle” Scarabaeidae

Missoula, MT
May 18, 2014
Robert Niese

There are more than 400 species of Phyllophaga in the United States and Canada. Their identification requires an intimate investigation of… ahem… reproductive morphology, which is not something I’m dying to do today.