Category: beetlblr

nanonaturalist:

What can I say? Bugs just find me attractive.

Life hack: wear a headlamp out in the country at night, and you too can have giant beetles flying at your face.

May 17, 2017

Hardwood Stump Borer, Mallodon dasystomus, who loved me (or at least my lämp)

Reposted July 16, 2019

tarantulajelly:

This Fiery Searcher Caterpillar Hunter (Calosoma scrutator) bit the daylights out of me (he was fast, I had to hamfist catching him) and then made me smell like hot diarrhea for the rest of the trail.  I’ve washed my hands five times since being home.  I may never not smell like diarrhea again.  10/10 would touch again.

Time to change your username from tarantulajelly to beetlejuice?

Don’t they leave the best gifts?

July 12, 2019

For first time in 45 years, endangered American burying beetle found in Ohio:

willow-honey:

nanonaturalist:

hope-for-the-planet:

This federally endangered beetle hasn’t had a reproducing population in Ohio since 1974. For the last ten years, conservationists from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium have released captive-reared beetles, but have been unable to find any surviving offspring after the released adults finish their short lifespan.

This last year conservationists released 472 captive-reared beetles from large, more cold-hardy stock and finally found new, overwintered beetles. Another participating institution, the Cincinnati Zoo, also found overwintered beetles for the first time this year.

Burying beetles are one of the few beetles to show monogamy and extended parental care. When it’s time to reproduce, a mated pair of burying beetles finds the carcass of a small bird or mammal, digs underneath it to submerge the carcass in the earth, and then raises their larva inside the carcass (larva even beg for food from their parents like baby birds).

While it may sound gross, burying beetles do important work cleaning up dead animals, recycling nutrients, and limiting the spread of disease.

It’s unclear what caused the American burying beetle to decline in the first place, but one theory is that the extinction of the passenger pigeon harmed them by removing a large source of appropriately-sized carcasses (though multiple factors were likely involved). 

“Our mission is to make sure that we’re looking out for all wildlife, not just the cute and fuzzy ones.”

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 10, 2019

Oh hey, I was involved in this!!

Incredible beetles, really. Larger than you’d think! The males have a large, orange rectangle on the head while the females have a small red-ish triangle.

This one on my hand is a female! It’s a bit hard to see, but there’s a small triangle below the large patch on the head.

Both a male and a female, along with a dead r.at, were placed into a hole with the hopes that they would breed. I’m happy to report that recently they were checked on and lots of beetle larvae were found!

(This one is a male!)

LOOK AT THOSE BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN!!!!!!

Thanks for sharing! That’s so awesome!!!

July 10, 2019

For first time in 45 years, endangered American burying beetle found in Ohio:

hope-for-the-planet:

This federally endangered beetle hasn’t had a reproducing population in Ohio since 1974. For the last ten years, conservationists from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium have released captive-reared beetles, but have been unable to find any surviving offspring after the released adults finish their short lifespan.

This last year conservationists released 472 captive-reared beetles from large, more cold-hardy stock and finally found new, overwintered beetles. Another participating institution, the Cincinnati Zoo, also found overwintered beetles for the first time this year.

Burying beetles are one of the few beetles to show monogamy and extended parental care. When it’s time to reproduce, a mated pair of burying beetles finds the carcass of a small bird or mammal, digs underneath it to submerge the carcass in the earth, and then raises their larva inside the carcass (larva even beg for food from their parents like baby birds).

While it may sound gross, burying beetles do important work cleaning up dead animals, recycling nutrients, and limiting the spread of disease.

It’s unclear what caused the American burying beetle to decline in the first place, but one theory is that the extinction of the passenger pigeon harmed them by removing a large source of appropriately-sized carcasses (though multiple factors were likely involved). 

“Our mission is to make sure that we’re looking out for all wildlife, not just the cute and fuzzy ones.”

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 10, 2019

Awesome blog

Thank. Please accept this gift:

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Metallic Wood-boring Beetle (Family Buprestidae) from Val Verde County, Texas

July 8, 2019

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@hunteno64​ submitted:

So I just got out of an interview, and I see this QT. Any idea and what they are?

Why yes, I do. Looks like your bab was fixing to molt, so he appears a little unusual, but still easily identifiable. This was actually one I learned when I was a little kid, and was quite pleased with knowing as the smart-ass 7-year-old I was back in the day, although I didn’t know there was more than one species of these then

Here’s a sibling of your friend from my yard. Look at those cute little legs! His face is that TINY little thing at the very end at the front. He is a larva. When he pupates, he will look like this:

You can see his old baby clothes around the base of his pupa where it connects to the grass. And when he emerges as an adult, you will probably recognize him!

Your friend is specifically an Asian Lady Beetle, Harmonia axyridis. These can look quite variable, especially depending on where you live (in Texas, there are some that are BLACK with RED SPOTS, or GRAY with BLACK spots!). Most places, they are red or orange with black spots… or with no spots at all! In MOST places, the easiest way to identify them is by looking at their pronotum–the shield that covers their thorax. In the red varieties, it will be white with a black “W.” The other species of lady beetles (and there are SO MANY OF THEM!!!” will have different patterns there, and typically have a specific pattern of spots!

After this photo, though? You get these:

They have fun eggs! If you see a ton of lady beetles, it means there are lots of tasty aphids (and other plant-parasitic insects) around. And that usually means there is a lack of biodiversity somewhere, which allows the plant parasites to flourish. I get a huge swarm of lady beetles whenever the invasive grasses pop up in my yard. But that also meant plenty of opportunities to watch their larvae grow up and emerge from their pupae!

Thanks for asking!

July 8, 2019

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@dragonseekerart submitted:

Sorry, not the best pictures my camera didn’t want to focus… I found this little guy in the pool in my backyard, so you know what he is? He’s kind of green and has bright orange underside! I live in northern Utah if that helps!

Wow, this dude was not as easy to ID as I thought he would be! Some things I looked at while I was figuring out who this was:

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Most beetles have bodies completely covered by their wing casings, so I thought this would be easy. But the beetles I knew with the pronotum shaped like a shield had all their bits safely tucked away! Luckily, beetle ID guides know this, so they use the antennae to start out the ID process. And VIOLA! We have

A Soft-winged Flower Beetle (Family Melyridae)! [link to iNat]

I think your friend is in the genus Collops. A naturalist friend of mine saw one of these in California [link to iNat]. In his photo, you can see the funky antennae a little more clearly. WEIRD!!!

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Above photo copyright Chris Mallory [link again]

Initially, I had thought those little bumps on the antennae could have been ant heads! It wouldn’t have been the first time I’d seen them there! [link to iNat]

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Ant head attached to a (living!) flea beetle antenna. The ants attack, grab on, die, bodies fall off, and the poor beetle just has to deal.

Thanks for sending in your beetle, that was fun to figure out!

July 7, 2019

annaprise:

zyenakhsi:

anarchist-space-pirate:

causiane:

subjectzer0s:

toobookishtohandle:

m–ood:

Golden tortoise beetle transforming from gold to red

What

@gayterenus

When your 24 hour premium skin wears off

Alright, y’all. Bug nerd here. Yes, this is real. This is Charidotella sexpunctata. It’s able change color like this by filling and emptying its elytra (the wing covers) with water. The mirror-like gold effect is caused by it forcing water into separate layers of its elytra, smoothing them out to the point where they actually reflect light. By drawing the water out, the red pigment beneath is exposed. They do this whenever they’re disturbed as a defense mechanism, likely to mimic foul tasting lady beetles.

So, there’s a fun fact.

A spy

I have these in my yard!

The little turds do NOT cooperate for photos. The second they see you, they DROP off their leaves and you can’t find them any more. Their larvae eat morning glory and other nightshades, and they protect themselves from predators with fecal shields. 

Yes, that’s right. They cover themselves with their poop to keep predators from eating them.

I love them.

July 5, 2019

nanonaturalist:

@midnight-mod submitted:

Hey! Could I get some help IDing these little fellas? My mom found them in a lake in Texas, they’re about 5-6cm long. She’s a flyfisherman so she’s always really excited about learning about aquatic larvae in areas she fishes! I’ve been digging through lists and guides of aquatic invertebrates/larvae and haven’t found anything quite like them, care to help me out?


These fat babies are water scavenger beetle larvae. I’ve never been blessed with seeing them in person, but I have seen the adults. They can be small, but they can also get very large! Here are a couple from Austin:

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Tropisternus sp.

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Hydrophilus ovatus 

These were both seen in March 2018. Sorry it took me SO LONG to answer you life is stressful!

December 1, 2018

@indelliblemercinary, that’s a great question (and thanks for pointing that out–I edited my post to say they are beetle larvae to avoid confusion). I think you will find that many immature aquatic insects take on these shapes, which means they can look very similar to one another. I mentioned I’ve never seen water scavenger beetle larvae before, but I have seen predaceous diving beetle larvae before:

This guy is a lot younger than the babies in the submitted photo (this photo had to be taken through a microscope!), but the shape of the head and the mouthparts (those are beetle jaw pincers!) are very similar. If you are familiar enough with beetle larvae, you will notice that the legs, head shape, eyes, and “neck” are different enough that they are not the same type of beetle. 

But let’s look at dragonflies and damselflies, because those are very interesting to compare! I’d like to note that the immature forms of dragonflies and damselflies are known as nymphs because they don’t go through complete metamorphosis (there is no pupa stage, they just molt one more time and come out as a full adult). All beetles go through complete metamorphosis, so their immature phases are called larvae, even when they are aquatic.

I have never seen a living dragonfly nymph (I think they tend to keep themselves buried!), but I have seen their exuvia (the exoskeletons they leave behind after they molt). The exuvia will show you exactly what they looked like, minus some of the coloring. Notice the differences between this guy’s body shape and the beetle larvae: you can actually see the little flaps where his wings were forming, his legs are much longer, he has much larger eyes, and he doesn’t have the “pincer” jaws. Before that final molt, the nymph climbs out of the water so they can hang and let their wings harden, and sometimes you can get lucky and find one near a pond or lake.

Here is a live damselfly nymph! A little different from the dragonfly (we have the tail gills, and a longer body), but still fairly similar when you compare it to the beetle larvae. See the wing buds on his back? 

You are more likely to notice beetle larvae and dragonfly/damselfly nymphs when they are older and ready to become adults, but it’s important to keep in mind that they start out very tiny! As they develop, dragonfly and damselfly nymphs will molt several times, and look more and more like adults each time–but this means they start out looking more “larva-like.” Those wing buds don’t start to become visible until later stages in their development. For beetle larvae, they can start out very thin, and then get very fat as they feed, which can make identifying them tricky!

Aquatic insects are challenging, immature life stages of insects are challenging, so immature life stages of aquatic insects are really hard! I am definitely not an expert on these topics, so always feel free to ask me if I’m sure about something!

December 2, 2018

@midnight-mod submitted:

Hey! Could I get some help IDing these little fellas? My mom found them in a lake in Texas, they’re about 5-6cm long. She’s a flyfisherman so she’s always really excited about learning about aquatic larvae in areas she fishes! I’ve been digging through lists and guides of aquatic invertebrates/larvae and haven’t found anything quite like them, care to help me out?


These fat babies are water scavenger beetles. I’ve never been blessed with seeing them in person, but I have seen the adults. They can be small, but they can also get very large! Here are a couple from Austin:

Tropisternus sp.

Hydrophilus ovatus 

These were both seen in March 2018. Sorry it took me SO LONG to answer you life is stressful!

December 1, 2018