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Little Bear Beetle

Eastern Washington

Picture of a little bear beetle or Paracotalpa granicollis
Little bear beetles or Paracotalpa granicollis
with red-brown wing covers

Little bear beetles are named for the wooly fuzz of the adults, which emerge in mid-spring in places where sagebrush grow, buzzing around and occasionally landing. These beetles are attracted to sagebrush and related beetles reportedly eat sagebrush roots, though the food source for its larvae remains as yet unconfirmed; some think they might feed on bunchgrass roots. The adults reportedly invade orchards as pests and according to Oregon State University, eat apple blossoms and peach leaves.

As with other scarab beetles, little bear larvae are likely hunted underground by parasitoid wasps such as scoliids and/or tiphiids, but little is known about these insects for sure.

Photo of a little bear beetle on big sagebrush
Little bear beetle on big sagebrush

Photo of a fuzzy little bear beetle
Fuzzy little bear beetle