Two recently described California beetles have unusually strong ties to NRS reserves. One, was named for Don Canestro, director of the Kenneth S. Norris Rancho Marino Reserve. Entomologists Katie Hopp and Michael Caterino of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History write in the journal ZooKeys that they named the beetle Cephennium canestroi “in appreciation for his generous assistance with our fieldwork.”
The amber-yellow specimens were found along the coast at Rancho Marino Reserve, near the Central Coast town of Cambria. The insects were plucked out of leaf litter from toyon and willow. The characteristics of the species include the absence of eyes, a distinctly shaped plateau on the wing covers, and a scutellum (triangular plate between the bases of the forewings) featuring four bristles or setae.
The same paper describes a new beetle species from the Burns Piñon Ridge Reserve in San Bernardino County. Named Cephennium aridum, this insect was sifted from grass and flood debris. The species is distinguished from other related California beetles by the single ommatidium on each side of its head (multiple ommatidia make up the compound eyes of insects).
Both beetles were found as part of the California Beetle Project, a push to inventory all of the beetle species found in California. The insect is described in “Seven new species of Cephennium Müller & Kunze (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae, Scydmaeninae, Cephenniini) from California with a key to native North American species,” Katie J. Hopp and Michael S. Caterino, ZooKeys 24:31-54 (2009).