The Gottlieb Native Garden

a california love story

The Gottlieb Native Garden is a flourishing ecosystem belonging to Susan and Dan Gottlieb, friends of flora and fauna and devoted environmental philanthropists. With more than 100 hand-selected plant species and hundreds of animal species, the backyard is a National Wildlife Federation-certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat and a Xerces Society-designated Pollinator Habitat.

Extraordinary Battle

While surveying moths in the GNG this past week, a fight between two beetles caught our attention: a soldier beetle and a checkered beetle were locked in mortal combat .  It was quite a struggle until the checkered beetle maneuvered the soldier beetle on to its back - then the clash ended “Game of Thrones” style.

Checkered beetles are in the family cleric, ferocious predators of wood boring beetles (like this soldier beetle).  Clerid larvae also feed on wood borer, bark beetle and other insect larvae that occur under bark, which they pursue by traveling down the tunnels of their prey.  Because of this behavior, they are very good at controlling many wood-boring pests.  As we say time and time again; nature does a very good job at keeping all in balance - albeit sometimes in a brutal way.

Checkered beetle - Enoclerus quadrisignatus (top) and soldier beetle – Xanthochroina bicolor (bottom).