Tile Horned Prionus Beetle?

We found this beetle in our yard tonight on our swing. We looked it up and could not find anything close to what it seems to be, that is in California. (Tile horned prionus?) Any ideas!? Our kids are very curious!

Cari Thomas, Santa Barbara - July 3, 2019

Curator Response

Hi Cari,

Thanks for sharing this beetle. Based on what I can see, this appears to be a male Prionus californicus, the California Root Borer, which is abundant in the Santa Barbara area. Males have slightly more saw-toothed antennae than females. The Tile-Horned Prionus (Prionus imbricornis) is an eastern North American species, and they have a much greater number of antennal segments, from 16-20 in each antenna (only 12 in Prionus californicus).

Stay curious,

Schlinger Foundation Chair and Curatory of Entomology Matthew Gimmel, Ph.D.