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  #1  
Old 04-24-2018, 01:17 AM
cmac2012's Avatar
Renaissance Dude
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Berkeley, CA
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Insect identification - California

Anybody recognize this critter? We’ve got a bunch of them swarming a bush in our backyard, happily mating away.

At first we thought maybe termites, some termites are about the right color, but termites have their wings more exposed. These have sort of a darkish blue-black shell like a beetle that covers the wings when they’re not flying. But they look skinnier than most beetles. They’re about a half an inch long.

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Insect identification - California-img_0496.jpg   Insect identification - California-img_0497-2-.jpg   Insect identification - California-img_0499-2-.jpg  
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Old 04-24-2018, 02:13 AM
cmac2012's Avatar
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Well I'll be damned. That was quick. Did some searching and found this page, they said there were 389 common insects in the People's Republic. The number seemed small to me but why not take a look.

https://www.insectidentification.org/insects-by-state.asp?thisState=California

I found the soldier beetle at 310 and 311. Same name and look, two different color schemes. But the news is good. They eat aphids and pollinate flowers.

https://www.insectidentification.org/insect-description.asp?identification=Soldier-Beetle-Podabrus
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Old 05-06-2018, 08:47 AM
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That’s a new one for me.

For future identification, termites have two pair of identical wings. Ants have one pair larger than the other. Bugs and beetles have the forepair stiff and leathery and the hind pair transparent and flexible.

I don’t recall ever seeing an insect like in your photo. Thanks for posting.
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Old 05-06-2018, 04:37 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Shaped a bit like a firefly.
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Old 05-13-2018, 08:44 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
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As an aside, you can use the Google Images website to do a reserve lookup. You provide the photo and it gives you similar photos from the web.

Google thought your first image was a walking stick. Stupid Google.
Google thought your third image was an imperial moth. Stupid Google.
Google thought your second image was a solder beetle. Ok, google. I forgive you.

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