A little vignette of desert ecology

March 18th, 2011


ZZYZX, CALIFORNIA–While exploring the Amboy Crater lava fields on Wednesday, we noticed these small and very active “yellow” beetles. With a little research we discovered they are Desert Spider Beetles (Cysteodemus armatus) that feed on the nectar from a variety of flowers. As you might have guessed by now, the yellow color on the heads and abdomens of the beetles is actually from the pollen of a particular yellow flower blooming in abundance the day of our visit. These beetles turn out to be important pollinators for several flower species.

Some of the many flowers near Amboy Crater. I need my flower expert Mother's help to identify them!

One Response to “A little vignette of desert ecology”

  1. […] black but is covered with yellow pollen in the spring. We saw this beetle on our departmental Mojave Field Trip a year […]

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