These lovely beetles have crossed my path three or four times. They don’t usually stick around to pose for great shots, but this photo turned out pretty good if also more on the diagnostic than artistic side.
Now, I may be giving this critter a little more credit than deserved, but I’m pretty sure it’s mimicking a velvet ant (a kind of wingless wasp). After consulting BugGuide.net, I am confident that it is a checkered beetle (family Cleridae), and I have narrowed it down to subfamily Clerinae. I want to say it’s an Enoclerus sp., which has a few potential candidates, but genus Thanasimus also has a candidate. That is the limit of my current interest in ID’ing this beetle. :)