Pleasing Fungus Beetle (Gibbifer californicus)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Pleasing Fungus Beetle.
Updated: 8/25/2014; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The high altitudes are the home of this Pleasing Fungus Beetle. Rotting wood loaded with fungus is a good place to look for them.
This species of Pleasing Fungus beetle is found in the mountains of select western states. Their steely gray elytra (wing covering) is speckled with black dimples akin to the depressions seen on golf balls. The higher elevation presents a different ecosystem and this insect takes advantage of the rotting wood found on the mountainsides.
As their name suggests, this species is enjoys fungus because it is a food source for them. They are often spotted walking around, on or under rotted logs, tree trunks and branches. Females lay their fertilized eggs on fungus. When larvae hatch, they stay on that fungus and eat it.
Larvae look very different from adults. Their appearance is more worm-like with spiky fringe around the edges of their black and white tubular bodies. They molt several times leaving exoskeleton 'skins'. When they are ready to pupate, they hang onto the last 'skin'. Look for these under logs or branches where adults are seen as they tend to stay relatively close despite their different life stages.
This beetle is most active in the summer and can be found in forests, along creeks or streams or in wooded canyons, especially in areas with moisture, which is helpful for fungal growth.