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. The primary intervals are indistinguishable, in the syntype and in a few other specimens, but in most of those examined they are slightly higher in the form of short chain-like segments.. The color of the upper body is black, dark brown or rarely dark bronze with with foveae of the same color.
The species is definitely present in southeastern British Columbia and eastern Washington state. The type was collected in Oregon (LeConte, 1851:200) or possibly in nearby Washington. Burgess & Collins, (1917: 120) puts Idaho and California in its area of distribution, without further detail.

Examined specimens and literature’s data
Canada. British Columbia. Okanagan-Similkameen: Princeton, Oliver (Lindroth, 1961: 54), Kelowna, Ellison, South Okanagan Grasslands P. A., White Lake Grasslands, Osoyoo (; Central Okanagan: Peachland (Lindroth, 1961: 54); North Okanagan: Vernon (Lindroth, 1961: 54); Chilcotin: Riske Creek (; West Kootenay: Robson (Lindroth, 1961: 54); Thompson-Nicola: Aspen Grove, Merritt, Nicola valley, Camloops, Lac du Bois P.A. (Lindroth, 1961: 54).
United States. California, Idaho (Burgess & Collins, 1917: 120); Oregon (LeConte, 1851: 200; type, MCZ); Washington. Witman County: Pullman (MNHN). Rosalia (; Yakima County: Whites Ridge trailhead; Okanogan County: Wenatchee National Forest; Spokane County: Airway Heights, Rocks of Sharon, Glenrose trailhead; Kittitas County: Ronald; Douglas County (

, Notes: Brachypterous. C. wilkesii is found from midlands, around 700 to 900m altitude, to alpine zones, up to 1800m altitude, It inhabits dry open countries or with low vegetation, sometime in meadows, surronded by thin woodlands. It is preferably nocturnal, but has been seen in activity in day time or also hidden under stones or debris or in shallow holes it has dug in the ground. According to the material examined, the adults start their activity in April with a maximum in May-June, but they can still be found active in Semptember and October.
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 August 9 2023