Stereopalpus vestitus

Ant-like Flower Beetle
Stereopalpus vestitus

Ant-like Flower Beetle Stereopalpus vistitus on Milkweed flower; ridge between antenna bases visible. Point Pelee National Park, July 02, 2015.
Ant-like Flower Beetle Stereopalpus vestitus on Milkweed flower; ridge between antenna bases visible. Point Pelee National Park, July 02, 2015.

Identification:
Head: Black. Wide raised, transverse area between antenna bases, interrupted at center. Faint line of white hairs down inner eye margin. Mouth slightly reddish. Whiskers (palpi) long, black; last segment very long, shaped like a table knife (cultriform).
Antenna: Brownish-black; first segment lighter or sometimes slightly reddish.
Thorax: Black. Slightly longer than wide, tapered from middle to neck, sides depressed. The tapered edge slightly raised. No distinct line down middle of thorax.

Ant-like Flower Beetle Stereopalpus vistitus on Milkweed leaf trying to remove pollen from left front foot. Point Pelee National Park, July 02, 2015.
Ant-like Flower Beetle Stereopalpus vistitus on Milkweed leaf trying to remove pollen from left front foot. Point Pelee National Park, July 02, 2015.

Wings (elytra): Light reddish- or yellowish-brown to pale brown; wider than the thorax, coarsely punctured. Covered with dense, whitish-yellow hair. V-shaped area (scutellum) barely noticeable.
Legs: Thighs (femora) dark reddish-brown, rest more brown with some dark streaks. Covered with short white hair.

Similar Species: S. mellyi is uniformly one color, or occasionally very faintly lighter wings (elytra). S. mellyi has a definite line down center of thorax and no transverse ridge between antenna bases.

Size: 8 to 10 mm.

Habitat: Sandy soils, usually near lakes, rivers.

Food: Unknown

Flight Time: July and August.

Life Cycle: Unknown

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. Bruce Peninsula. One found in Ottawa, 1914. Also in Michigan.

Synonyms: Say, 1824
Oedemera vestita, Stereopalpus badiipennis

References:
Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1923-24, Vol. 3 by Say, pg. 279.
Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1854-55, Vol. 7 by LeConte, pg. 22.
Coleoptera or Beetles of Indiana 1910 by Blatchley, pp. 1328 to 1329.

Types:

Holotype as Stereopalpus badiipennis LeConte, 1954. Type Locality: per label “(yellow  disc  =Central  Valley  or  Western  States  (Ohio,  Ill.,  Ind.,  Mo.,  western  Tenn.,  Ky.,  Iowa?,  southern  Great  Lakes?). In Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard, Cambridge,  Mass. Type #4871. Photos.

 

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