Cremastocheilus

Cremastocheilus are a myrmecophilous genus of cetoniine scarabs, endemic to the New World. Larvae develop in soil adjacent to host nests, and the adults feed on larvae and pupae of host ants. Adults often congregate on open sandy ground to mate. They also have trichomes, most commonly at the posterior corners of the pronotum, and ants are attracted to these and will guide the scarabs to their nests, tugging at the trichome tufts.

Cremastocheilus sp., found flying low to the ground in a riparian forest in California. Notice the sand is dry and has a sandy feel to it.

Cremastocheilus sp., excavated with a Formica sp. nest in a decaying log in California.

Possibly due to their intimate life with ants, I often find Cremastocheilus missing distal portions of their tarsi.

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