But even though collection numbers in terms of species as well as individuals were low, I did succeed to complete my virtual collection of the genus Euphoria in the subfamily of the Flower Chafers, Cetoniinae this year. These are day-active scarabs that fly extremely well with their hard wing covers (first wing pair) closed. A sneak preview of Bill Warner's yet unpublished Checklist of Arizona Scarabaeoidea confirmed that the ten species below are the ones that I can hope to find.
Usually I try to photograph living beetles, but I was also delighted to have access to the beautiful and rather complete collection of Patrick Sullivan in Sierra Vista. The specimens of Euphoria devulsa and E. canescens were photographed in this collection. Even Pat's representative for E. canescens came from Mexico, but Barney Streit told me that E. canescens can be found on Sunflowers along Duquesne Road,Cochise County, Arizona.
E. kernii, which is so common on Opuntia and Prickly Pear flowers further east (Texas), is found in Arizona in a light and a nearly black morph and seems fairly rare.
E. quadricollis, synonym E. arizonica, 'is sexually dimorphic, with the females tending to be shiny, broader and much darker than the more gracile, tomentose males. The amount of dark spotting on both sexes is variable, but usually much less in males' (Bill Warner via email). Females seem to be less represented in collections which led to some questions about the identification of the female that I found on a tree stump at Copper Canyon, Cochise Co.The image of the male is of a specimen curated at the collection of the University of Arizona.
Euphoria leucographa (sepulcralis rufina)
I collected the similarly patterned, smaller E. sonorae in the Huachucas, from lower Carr Canyon to the very top of Miller Canyon. These beetles bury deeply into the flower disc of Sunflowers. This is so typical for them that they can be recognized immediately by their protruding hind ends.
I have encountered E. inda only once, at the research Station in Portal buried in flowers of milk weed and then flying off to the mesquite where I photographed it. B. Streit found it west of Portal in thistle flowers.
About this species, Art Evans has an interesting story to tell in his blog - how a specimen made it all the way to Africa to be described there as a newly discovered genus, until Art found it in the South African Museum in Cape town and dismantled its cover.
E. monticola (fulgida holochloris) is a great imitator of Carpenter Bees. Like the bees, it spends a lot of time on the wing without landing. when the beetle is buzzing by at high speed the closed shiny fore-wings give a perfect impression of the bee's heavy, dark body.
photos D. Danforth)
In July and August, I've seen them in the Chiricahuas and the Canelos in similar forested areas under oaks where the ground was covered in moist leaf litter. The male beetles seem to patrol certain paths and clearings, never flying more than a few feet high, probably in search of females on or in the ground. Females are hardly ever collected
E. fascifera trapezium, which I knew from California, is reported occasionally from our lower desert areas, supposedly associated with pack rat nests. This year it was observed in Tucson in early summer. It seemed to be feeding on fresh Mesquite pods that were bleeding after Mesquite Bug infestation. I finally got hold of one in October when Bruce Mitton collected it for me on blooming Rabbit Bush in his yard in North West Tucson where they regularly breed under his raised planters with lots of composted manure.
Credits: I'd like to thank Patrick Sullivan for permission to photograph his collected specimens, Bruce Mitton for the life E. fascifera, Bill Warner and Barney Streit for additional information and D. Danforth for the permission to use his excellent photos of E fulgida that he originally submitted to www.bugguide.net
Monographic revision of the genus Euphoria (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae)