Eusattus dilatatus - dune darkling beetle (Tenebrionidae)
Sand dunes are an unusual habitat, and the creatures found on them are equally odd. One of the more charismatic dune endemics is Eusattus dilatatus, a large darkling beetle found in southern California. This scavenging insect has long legs for digging and a waxy cuticle to prevent dessication.
Eusattus is not the easiest photographic subject. It seemed uncomfortable out in the open and would burrow as soon as I placed it on the sand. The series below spans 30 seconds.
**update** Tenebrionid expert Kojun Kanda corrects the identification from E. muricatus to E. dilatatus.
photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon 20D
f/13, 1/250 sec, ISO 100, twin flash diffused through tracing paper
I guess the bristles are to keep sand from gumming up the works? Do you have a closer zoom on the thorax? I'd like to see how the bristles are angled.
That is a gorgeous beetle. On first glance it doesn't eve look like a Tenebrionid.