Trichodes ornatus, the ornate checkered beetle.Â California.
Don't let the pretty colors fool you. Trichodes ornatus, like many checkered beetles, is a fierce predator whose larvae attack the young of wood-boring insects.
photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS D60
ISO 100, 1/200 sec, f/13, flash diffused through tracing paper.
I wonder how effective they are at pollinating. I see pollen on it's back.
I have seen these beetles loaded with pollen - they seem to be especially fond of rosaceous flowers.