Category: beetles

itscolossal: A Beetle Tattoo Spreads its Wing…

itscolossal:

A Beetle Tattoo Spreads its Wings in Tandem With its Owner’s Arm

*gasps*

pterygota: Alright so I’m the anon, and the s…

pterygota:

Alright so I’m the anon, and the shiny one is Bert. Also, found this other little dude among a horde of lady beetles/bugs/birds (???) and a shiny looking mosquito? But anyways, I’ve branched out from bees to other bugs, on my side blog just for them! I’m very pleased about it

oh, bert is beautiful!! i love those colors!

i believe the little dude under the leaf is a stink bug of some sort, and the shiny thing is a long-legged fly, probably in the genus condylostylus – i just love their iridescence! i sometimes come across ones that are a deep blue color

thank you so much for sharing! do you mind sharing your sideblog? 🙂

Hold onto your horseflies Anon submitter! Your shiny Bert is a lady beetle!!! (Commonly called ladybugs or lady birds, they are members of the order Coleoptera, aka Beetles). Bert is likely a member of the Halmus genus. If you are in the US, you are probably in California, because Bert is an Australian species (Steelblue lady beetle) that was recently introduced to the US [link to bugguide].

Your shy hiding friend is a stink bug, from what I can see, most likely a Rough Stink Bug (usually camouflaging on tree bark). He could be something else, but it’s hard to tell from just his face.

And the above is correct about your shiny green friend. Long-legged flies are very pretty. Some species are a shiny orange-red, but most are blue or green. They do look a lot like mosquitos, which are just another kind of fly.

September 17, 2018

Hi!! I was wondering if you would have tips fo…

Hi!! I was wondering if you would have tips for bug sighting (catching?? Bug tourism??) That you could share? Like if there was a better time of day, places to check. I live in Singapore and I've only recently decided to be more open with my love of insects thanks to blogs like yours!!

Great question! First off, Singapore is a wonderful ecosystem and you are guaranteed to find some really good stuff out there. There are three strategies I use when I’m in a new, unfamiliar place and I want to find bugs.

Tips for Finding Bugs (and other good nature stuff)

1. Slow Down and Look Around
I know this seems obvious, but don’t underestimate this one. I lived in and around Seattle for 28 years before I moved to Texas. I don’t really remember Seattle as having any bugs, and I liked them and wanted to see them. Part of the reason I got into bugs after moving to Texas was the bugs here are SO LOUD and SO LARGE that you can’t ignore them. Fairly recently, I’ve gone through all my old photos looking for things I could upload to iNaturalist. And I found stuff like this from Washington state that I had absolutely no memory of seeing:

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Above: Leptura obliterata and Diurnal Firefly Genus Ellychnia

It turns out, wanting to see bugs isn’t good enough. Sometimes you’ll get lucky, like I occasionally did, but you need to be more deliberate to get satisfaction. Regardless of where you are in the world, slowing down and looking around you will help out a lot. 

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Above: Successes in staring at the ground in Paris, France (left, European Fire Bug) and in the middle of nowhere at a rest stop in Texas (right, Wall Crab Spider)

2. Learn Where and When to Look
But of course, not everything will be out in the open and awake when you are wandering around doing your daily business. Sometimes, you need to go looking for things, and where and when you look will depend on your location, time of the year, and what you want to see.

In general: learn the basic niches and habitats of the types of bugs you are the most interested in. Not sure what you like the most yet? Then try looking everywhere you can. And I mean, everywhere.

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Above: At least five species of insects on one piece of scat

For the most part, bugs want to remain hidden. So look on the underside of leaves, under rocks, motionless on the ground, on the side of trees, etc. But, bugs also have to eat! So look in garbage cans, gardens, perched along a pond, in/on flowers, in/under rotting wood. You will likely find some areas are better than others where you are. In Texas, one of those places is inside cactus flowers:

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When you go bug hunting, look for signs a bug is nearby. Nibbles taken out of leaves, poops on the ground, leaves curled up in strange shapes. When you see things like this, it means a bug was there recently, and may still be there! As you learn more about the types of bugs you’re interested in, you will also learn what they eat and where they lay their eggs, which means you will have a much easier time finding them! I’m not too skilled in identifying plants, but I have learned specific host plants, which means I don’t need to wander around aimlessly turning over leaves when I’m looking for something. 

As you mention, time of day can also be important. I think you can generally find the same numbers of bugs regardless of the time of day in a favorable season, but they will be different kinds of bugs, and you have to use different methods to find them. At night, many of the bugs who were hiding away during the day will come out and do their thing, safely out of sight of all the birds who want to eat them. Some of these are attracted to lights, which means a productive place to look is by lights in otherwise dark areas. Check out a few of the things I found at a light in Kuchawe, Malawi:

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If you are going to do some night searches, make sure you have a good headlamp. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to hold a flashlight and a camera, AND poke at a bug to get it to move.

3. Finding Bug Hot-Spots

Okay, so you know how to look for bugs, but how do you find the best places to see the best bugs? The easiest way is to just look for parks, gardens, and other natural areas. When I’m traveling, I will pull up a map of where I’m at, and I’ll look for “green” areas nearby. Usually these are nature parks, and I’ve found some of my favorite places just by doing this. Another method is to find out where other people have seen interesting things. iNaturalist is a great way to do this (and you can talk to other bug people in your area to get tips!). Here’s the map showing where over 600 people have seen over 24,000 bugs in Singapore [link]! 

Good Luck!!!

September 9, 2018

Back From Scotland!

brynna:

An Adventurer Was Me!

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Here’s just a few samples from my massive photo haul! I will post more later!

Xylota segnis! (Brown-toed Forest Fly – possibly a robot)

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Anoplotrupes stercorosus! (Woodland Dor Beetle – shiny blue legs and pleasantly round)

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Sericomyia superbiens! (A Drone Fly That Looks Exactly Like Some Nearby Bumble Bees! So big and fluffy!)

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Bufo bufo! (European Toad – tiny anger unit)

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Genus Araneus! (Orbweaver – tiny eyes and cool tats)

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Nicrophorus vespilloides!

(Boreal Sexton Beetle + Mites – eats mushrooms, a good boy)

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Aglais io! (European Peacock Butterfly – looks like poker chips, would bet on black)

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I learned something interesting about Sexton beetles this week! The mites that ride them around have a symbiotic relationship with them. Sexton beetles will lay their eggs in carrion and other fun rotting matter, and there can be predators that eat baby Sexton beetles hiding in the food. The mites are predatory on some species that specifically target the Sexton babies, so after the eggs are laid, the mites will stay with them! I don’t know the specifics (what exactly is eating baby Sexton beetles?), but I hadn’t considered what kinds of relationships the mites can have with various other species.

Looks like you had fun (I’m jealous!)

August 30, 2018

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: Scoundrel. …

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

Scoundrel.

Y’all haven’t smelled anything until a GIANT BEETLE POOPS ON YOU. I swear I smelled like legions of porta potties were distilled into a special “just-for-me” Eau de Scarabée fragrance that I was forced to wear the rest of the night. Like, imagine the grossest subway elevator possible and make it smell worse, and then imagine you had to take a whiff every time you wanted to photograph something. Rude.

Grapevine Beetle, by the Colorado River in Austin, Texas
Smelled May 16 / Posted June 13, 2018

Okay so, today while looking for ducks, a GIANT beetle larva (it had to have been something like a leaf beetle but it was massive) scurried out from the bushes and I petted him a bit to slow him down for photos. He ended up crawling into my hoodie sleeve, and when I tried to lift him up he got SO SCARED he pooped in my sleeve a little. Super tiny baby poop though.

IT WAS THE WORST SMELLING THING EVER—WORSE THAN A SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT and yes I’ve been to one don’t ask.

Thanks, Canada

(July 25, 2018 / posted from Calgary)

I transferred the last couple month’s worth of photos to the computer, and went digging for the beetle larva so I could figure out WHAT it WAS that had such FOUL smelling POOPS

This bab. Such sweet, gentle kisses

Such warm, cozy snuggles

Who could you be?

A CARRION BEETLE???

well no wonder!

I still need to wash that sweater :X

Friend seen July 25 in Calgary, AB! / Posted August 17, 2018

@arcticarthropod submitted:

@arcticarthropod submitted:

Would you by any chance happen to know whats on this ladybug?


Congratulations, it’s a fungus! Specifically, Laboulbeniales fungi seems to be particularly common on Asian Lady Beetles (the species of lady beetle in your photo). Bugguide put together a page for these beetles with the fungus [link]. Here are a couple close-up photos from bugguide:

Left: Photo source [link] Right: Photo source [link]

There is additional information on this fungus at the Cornell Mushroom Blog [link]. Apparently these fungi are the closest thing beetles get to fleas. They are annoying, but don’t otherwise seem to affect the health of the beetle. And: they can be transmitted during mating. Beetle STIs! 

Fun photo, thanks for asking about it!

August 8, 2018

Hey it’s been a while since I did a gifset pho…

Hey it’s been a while since I did a gifset photodump! Fun fact: iNaturalist lets you upload gifs. Funner fact: I’m too lazy to convert bursts to gif so I do it via tumblr.

I don’t know what these things are yet! But!
1. My yard rat (I have a family of them soooo cuuuute also my neighbors hate me)
2. You know how in Futurama the joke about owls basically being rat-equivalents? Well, in Texas, it’s doves. White-winged doves in particular. They make A MESS! This is a FINCH FEEDER. Not a DOVE FEEDER
3. Cute tiny parasitic wasp! Possibly a braconid.
4. A cricket! I swear I know what kind but I forgot 😛
5. A beetle! Leaf beetle perhaps?
6. A spider! Ant mimic/ground spider? Who knows?

August 6, 2018

nanonaturalist: Scoundrel.Y’all haven’t smell…

nanonaturalist:

Scoundrel.

Y’all haven’t smelled anything until a GIANT BEETLE POOPS ON YOU. I swear I smelled like legions of porta potties were distilled into a special “just-for-me” Eau de Scarabée fragrance that I was forced to wear the rest of the night. Like, imagine the grossest subway elevator possible and make it smell worse, and then imagine you had to take a whiff every time you wanted to photograph something. Rude.

Grapevine Beetle, by the Colorado River in Austin, Texas
Smelled May 16 / Posted June 13, 2018

Okay so, today while looking for ducks, a GIANT beetle larva (it had to have been something like a leaf beetle but it was massive) scurried out from the bushes and I petted him a bit to slow him down for photos. He ended up crawling into my hoodie sleeve, and when I tried to lift him up he got SO SCARED he pooped in my sleeve a little. Super tiny baby poop though.

IT WAS THE WORST SMELLING THING EVER—WORSE THAN A SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT and yes I’ve been to one don’t ask.

Thanks, Canada

(July 25, 2018 / posted from Calgary)

@pastellieria submitted:

@pastellieria submitted:

i found this very pretty and shiny weevil during fieldwork today! in NW Indiana 🙂

Very nice! This is a broad-nosed weevil, which is my favorite type of weevil (shhhhh don’t tell the nut and acorn weevils I said that! [link]). Here are a couple of the ones I see in Texas:

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Broad-nosed weevils! Top: Mating pair of Tanymecus confusus (left), a curious Eudiagogus rosenschoeldi (right). Bottom: A mysterious African weevil, unidentified but maybe in tribe Peritelini (left), my all time fav Compsus auricephalus.

Your weevil looks to be a Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil (Polydrusus formosus), which is an introduced species from Europe. Very green! Very shiny!

Thanks for sending your weevil friend in!

July 17, 2018

cool-critters: bowelflies: godspeed you tiny …

cool-critters:

bowelflies:

godspeed you tiny emperors

Nature is amazing!!

This is good. Insect wings are amazing–especially beetle wings (because they are SECRETS). Allow me to present:

Tropisternus lateralis (A water scavenger beetle) [link to iNat obs]

Common Eastern Firefly [link to iNat obs]

Seven-spotted Lady Beetle [link to iNat obs], recently emerged from pupa. They have to hold their wings out and unfolded while they dry/harden. The spots don’t darken until later.

Mystery Water Scavenger Beetle [link to iNat obs]

Banded Hickory Borer [link to iNat obs]

Posted July 11, 2018 of Texan Beetle Babes