BotW: Bembidion bowditchii

Bembidion bowditchii

Bembidion bowditchii

The beetle of the week is a very elegant species, Bembidion bowditchii, which lives in western North America.  It is rarely caught, but not uncommon in the right habitats: broad sandy shorelines of rivers.  It is abundant on the Kootenay River near Bull River in British Columbia, and along the Nooksack River near Deming in Washington.  Here’s the habitat along the Kootenay River:

Kootenay River near mouth of Bull River

Kootenay River near mouth of Bull River

On a hot summer day in 2004 Bembidion bowditchii were so common here, and were flying enough, that running up and down the beach randomly swinging the net near the ground yielded 117 specimens in a couple of hours. At this site Bembidion (Bracteon) levettei levettei, B. (Bracteon) punctatostriatum, B. (Ochthedromus) bifossulatum, and B. (Notaphus) umbratum were also present.

I’ve been to this habitat twice before, and both times the sandy beach was much flatter, and without any vegetation.  Here’s what it looked like around sunset on 1 May 1982 (that’s my brother Wayne in the picture):

Wayne Maddison along Kootenay River near Bull River, 1982

Wayne Maddison along Kootenay River near Bull River, 1982

The two other localities at which I have found B. bowditchii were more like this: flat, sandy beaches without vegetation.

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