Calosoma (Callistenia) wilkesii LeConte, 1852

Callisthenes Wilkesii LeConte, 1852: 200 (described from Oregon); syntype ♂ (Oregon & Washington) Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Ma. (
Calosoma wilkesii Burgess & Collins, 1917: 120
Calosoma (Callisthenes) wilkesi Breuning, 1928: 78
Callisthenes (Isostenia) wilkesi Lapouge, 1931: 380
Microcallisthenes (Callistenia) wilkesi Jeannel, 1940: 177
Callisthenes (Microcallisthenes) wilkesi Gidaspow, 1959: 306
Callisthenes (Callistenia) wilkesii Erwin, 2007: 83

Length 15-20 mm. Both, C. wilkesii and C. moniliatum can be easily identified from the shape of the elongated body. Both have a transverse pronotum slightly narrower at the base with well-conformed rear angles. In case of C. wilkesii the rear angles of pronotum are more rounded and less protruding from the baseline.
C. wilkesii is moreover well characterized by the sculpture of the elytra: all the intervals are confused and between them only the primary ones can be recognized, because they are indicated by faintly marked foveae. In the syntype the primary intervals in themselves are not otherwise distinguishable but in other specimens they are slightly elevated in short chain-like segments. The color of the upper body is deep black. Gidaspow (1959: 306) also reports the existence of dark brown or rarely bronze beetles, with dark, coppery or golden, large, elytral foveae.
The syntype has been found in Oregon or in Washington State. Burgess & Collins, (1917: 120) inserted Idaho and California in its distribution area, without further details. Gidaspow (1959), Erwin (2007) and Bosquet (2012) confirmed this distribution area, adding Southern Canada.

Examined specimens and literature’s data
Canada. British Columbia: Princeton, Oliver, Robson, Peachland, Aspen Grove, Merritt, Nicola, Vernon, Camloops, Lac du Bois (Lindroth, 1961: 54)
United States. California, Idaho (Burgess & Collins, 1917: 120); Oregon (LeConte, 1852: 200); Washington: Pullman (MNHN), Douglas County (

Notes: Brachypterous. It inhabits midlands between 700 to 900m altitude, in dry open countries or with low vegetation, sometime in meadows, surronded by thin woodlands. It is preferably nocturnal, sometime taking refuge under stones or debris in daytime. Adult are active mostly in spring and early summer but some specimens can be found up to Semptember (Lindroth, 1961: 54).
The name of the species honors Charles Wilkes (1798 – 1877) an American naval officer who led the United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842, an exploring and surveying expedition of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding lands. The expedition included some naturalists who collected interesting entomological material. We note that, starting from Breuning (1928: 78), the name of this species has been sometimes referred to as wilkesi. but the name given by the author is properly formed in accordance with the rules of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (art 31.1.1.), corresponding to the genitive case of the latinized name Wilkesius. Therefore wilkesii is the only name that must be used.
Calosoma (Callistenia) wilkesii
LeConte, 1852
Oregon & Washington (Typus)
(coll. and photo: Museum of Comparative Zoology,
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
Calosoma (Callistenia) wilkesii
LeConte, 1852
Washington, Pullmann, June
(coll. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris)

updated February 3 2021