Category: beetles







I just found what I think is a dying great diving beetle in the middle of campus for some reason so I brought it back to my dorm and stuck it in my freezer

I’m gonna try to pin it but I have never pinned an insect before so this is not going to be pretty 

but I gotta learn somehow 

Yeah broke sound about right I just tore apart an old slipper for the foam sole

This is gonna be great

Pinning is the best! Here’s the best spot to pin a beetle in just in case you didn’t know. A little tip I wish I knew when doing beetles, especially large ones, be careful where you pin in relation to the oegs because you could accidentally take a leg off when the pin goes through

Thank you so much you all are saving my life. As a little update the beetle, besides a bit of guts coming out from the bottom of it, was in pretty good condition: wings and legs and head nicely intact. I put it in a cutout bottom of a plastic cup legs down but now the beetle is frozen to the bottom of the cup by its guts. Marvel at my professional 12am handiwork. I should have froze it upside down. Ahh the things we learn through trial and error.

I’ll have a look. I can already hear the distant screams of those who have done this for years as I eventually subject them to watching me destroy this poor bug.

This site (Purdue Entomology [link]) has some great info and tips for pinning and displaying all sorts of insects (use the table of contents over to the left of the page to navigate). When you start pinning with labels, there is a special pinning block with various heights that allows you to have the labels all exactly the right distance apart so you can read all the info from the drawer.

April 8, 2019


sallythewise submitted:


I saw these guys in Bastrop state park today and I’m not sure if they’re caterpillars or something else. Each one was roughly ¾ in and metallic. The last two pictures are of the plant they are on, unfortunately I do not know what it is either.

You’re right about these being babies, but they’re not caterpillars (they don’t have little suction cup prolegs, if you were to look for them). These guys are the larvae of a skeletonizing leaf beetle, which means they eat the leaves down to the veins, so it looks like a skeleton when they’re done. These beautiful metallic larvae belong to the Groundselbush Beetle, which eats… groundsel bush! I’ve never seen one, but a friend of mine has (I’m JEALOUS):

© Meghan Cassidy. Check out her observation on iNaturalist [link to source]

I have seen a cousin beetle larvae, in the genus Derospidea. Not as pretty, but still interesting!

I will have to head out to Bastrop State Park soon to take a peek at these guys! Thanks for asking! 😀

March 29, 2019

Look at this little baby!!!!! This is another …

Look at this little baby!!!!! This is another beetle grub, but you may notice this one is a bit different from the scarab grub I posted before (which has LEGS!). This baby looks like he’s swaddled up and wiggles around just as helplessly as if he was—this combination legless-but-with-a-distinct-head grub belongs to… a WEEVIL!!!

This is my first weevil grub! Exciting! I put him back somewhere safe, don’t worry.

March 20, 2019

birdandmoon: New comic: two butts and a lie. …


New comic: two butts and a lie.

This comic is based on the work of Christoph von Beeren and Daniel Kronauer. Von
Beeren even named the beetle after Kronauer: it’s Nymphister kronaueri!
Best honor ever. Plus an army ant, Eciton burchellii. Read more here.

Thanks to my friend Alex Wild for taking many of my photo references and looking at this before I posted it!



March 14, 2019

I was pulling weeds in my yard in the middle o…

I was pulling weeds in my yard in the middle of the night, like ya do, and I found A BABY curled around the roots of a common hedge parsley plant!!! I think I woke him up!!

I put the weed back when I was done taking the baby’s picture.

Also… I’m starting to wonder if that weird brown spot at the end of these scarab grubs is… uh… where they hold their poop, and they just get free from it when they molt. Because this one looks a little full… Maybe I should look that up. Beetle larvae do some weird stuff with their poops sometimes…

March 12, 2019

Fond Memories of the Hoh Rainforest

I may be in Texas now, but I first learned to love nature growing up in Washington State. If you’re not familiar with Seattle or Washington in general, then a few things to know: it’s on the west coast of North America, bordered by Canada to the north, lots of mountains to the east, and the (cold) Pacific ocean to the west. Any dark foreboding clouds blowing in from the ocean have to empty themselves before they can get over all those mountains to the east, which is why Seattle is so cloudy and rainy.

Except, there are more mountains to the west of Seattle. Where there is even more rain. An average of 12 to 14 feet of rain every year (~3.7 to 4.3 meters) [link]. That’s where our temperate rain forests are, and I love them.

Everything that doesn’t move is absolutely blanketed in moss or lichen or fungi. Every tree is draped in Oregon Spikemoss, which isn’t a true moss, but a clubmoss (what). I wish I could tell you more about it, but it’s only been posted 17 times on iNaturalist (?!?!) [link] and it looks like it only shows up in the western US coastal forests. 

Beautiful Cladonia lichen!

Heavenly Angel’s Wings mushrooms!

OH! Who is this?

A black slug friend!

And it’s not a trip to the rainforest without a Pacific Banana Slug!

A fly!

A firefly! Ellychnia sp. 

And last, but not least, on our way back to the car, right before hitting the visitor’s center, who did we see?

American Dipper! This is a bird that will completely submerge itself in streams while seeking out delicious foods like aquatic insect larvae and nymphs. When I saw this bird, I thought “Cool a bird!” *snap photo* *forget about photo for 8 years* *gets into birding and goes through old nature photos* *finds old photo of A DIPPER I SAW IN THE RAINFOREST!!!* 

Same thing with all the insect photos! I got really excited when I saw photos of the firefly that I had no memory of seeing!

But, I do take comfort in knowing that some things don’t change. I didn’t know much about nature back then, but I still loved it enough to notice it and want to keep pieces of it. And also…

Splurging $60 on this maroon jacket back in 2007 apparently was worth it because the damn thing is perfect. Credit to James for taking this picture of me taking a picture of a yucca [link] because I use it everywhere.

More information on visiting the Hoh Rainforest at the Olympic National Park Website [link]

Photos from the Hoh Rainforest taken September 17, 2011
Posted February 17, 2019

patchesthecryptid: earthstory: earthstory: W…




Well then.

labdibiologia O besouro antes de ser besouro como a gente conhece é uma larva. Alguns besouros são imensos, até mesmo na fase de larva. Este é o desenvolvimento de um besouro-hércules! Deve comer pouco o bichinho… Compartilhem @labdibiologia

This post appeared yesterday but was blocked for several hours due to being labeled as sexual content, so no one saw it.

@nanonaturalist @xarvaxx LOOK AT THIS LARGE LAD! An absolute UNIT!

I KNOW right???? How could you NOT spend ALL DAY just KISSING that LOVELY GRUB???? I would never get ANYTHING DONE

December 19, 2018

Slams open the door, covered in stamps, wearin…


I took so many cute selfies and oh my god I love Mastodon now and also Instagram is okay but not that great and MY NOTES ARE FULL OF TERFS ARRRGHHHH 

Anyway I had so much fun on Mastodon I’m gonna keep using it but I love everyone especially you three or five or six in particular and I’m gonna be here GOING DOWN TO THE END NUDGE NUDGE WINK WINK and ANYWAY LOOK AT THIS GREAT BUG I FOUND




December 18, 2018

nanonaturalist: @midnight-mod submitted: Hey! …


@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:


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

@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