Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘beetles’ Category

The inaugural blog carnival celebrating the Beetles is now online- go see!

Read Full Post »

I am impressed. Several of you* figured out the mystery behavior: reflex bleeding, a defensive response employed by some arthropods with especially nasty hemolymph to deter predators. A couple of you even pegged the identity of the mystery arthropod, a blister beetle in the genus Epicauta. Here’s the uncropped photo:

An Epicauta blister beetle reflex bleeds when grasped with forceps.

Five points each to Tim, Ainsley, Neil, and Dave. And, ten points each to Pete and TGIQ.

So. Um. Don’t spend them all in one place…

Posing on a mesquite flower.

*what’s up with all the guessers-of-mysteries being bloggers? Are bloggers just smarter?

Read Full Post »

We here at Myrmecos Blog don’t care to voice our opinion of talk show host Glenn Beck. But we are rather enamored of dung beetles, those gorgeously ornamented insects who prevent the world from being buried in feces.

Thus, we were pleased to find the following Facebook project in our inbox this weekend:

Can This Dung Beetle Get More Fans Than Glenn Beck?

If you’re on facebook, and you like dung beetles, now’s your chance to become a fan.

h/t Jesse.

Read Full Post »

A male western hercules beetle, Arizona.

Meet Dynastes granti. This behemouth of an insect is North America’s heaviest scarab beetle, found in the mountains of the American southwest where adults feed on the sap of ash trees. I photographed these spectacular insects a few years ago while living in Tucson.

The impressive pronotal horn on the beetle pictured above indicates a male; females are considerably more modest in their armaments:

Male and female hercules beetles

As is so often the case in animals, males use their horns to fight each other for access to females, attempting to pry their opponents off the branches.  Size is important, and it varies notably among individuals depending on how well they fed as developing larvae:

Size variation among male hercules beetles. My money is on the guy on the right.

The three beetles pictured here lived in our house for a while as pets; they were good-natured insects and would sit happily on our fingers eating maple syrup.

Photo details: Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens on a Canon EOS 20D.
ISO 400, f3.0-f5.0, 1/50-1/125 sec, ambient light at dusk

Read Full Post »

Trox - Hide Beetle - Arizona, USA

Scarab’s shrewd cousin,
Elytra warty like hide.
Must be Trogidae!

Photo details: Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens on a Canon EOS 20D
ISO 100, f/16, 1/250 sec, indirect strobe in white box

Read Full Post »

Notoxus desertus – Antlike Flower Beetle
Pyramid Lake, Nevada

This furry little beetle comes with its own sun visor, a horn-like structure that projects over the head from the pronotum.  I photographed this Notoxus along the shores of Pyramid Lake where it was feeding on pollen.

Photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS D60
ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, diffused twin flash

Read Full Post »

Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus
Goldenrod Soldier Beetles
Illinois, USA

Here at Myrmecos Blog we aim for a family-friendly atmosphere.  Except for beetle sex.  Sometimes we just can’t resist.

(There’s also plant sex going on here too, if you’re into that sort of thing…)

Photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D
ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, diffused twin flash

Read Full Post »

Edrotes1

Edrotes ventricosus (Tenebrionidae) – Dune Beetle
California, USA

In arid environments around the world, darkling beetles in the family Tenebrionidae are among the most prominent insects.  Their thick, waxy cuticles excel at retaining moisture.  Edrotes ventricosus is a dune inhabitant in southern California.

Photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 20D
ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, diffused twin flash

Read Full Post »

Tribolium1

Tribolium castaneum, the Red Flour Beetle

Here’s a beetle that the genetics-inclined entomologist will recognize.  Tribolium castaneum, the red flour beetle, was the first Coleopteran to have its genome sequenced.

This small tenebrionid is native to the Indo-Australian region but has become a pest of stored grains around the world.  I photographed these individuals from a lab culture at the University of Arizona where they were being used in studies on beetle development.

Tribolium2

Photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 20D
ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, diffused flash

Read Full Post »

caption

Female (left) and male Sandalus niger Cicada Parasite Beetles

Sandalus niger is one of the oddest beetles in eastern North America.  While most parasitic insects are concentrated in other orders- notably Hymenoptera and Diptera- Coleoptera contains relatively few parasites.  But there are a few.

Beetle larvae in the small polyphagan family Rhipiceridae attack cicada nymphs in their underground burrows.  Our local species is Sandalus niger, and in the past week the spectacular inch-long adults have been gathering in mating aggregations on tree trunks around campus.

caption

the remarkable antennae of the Sandalus male

caption

The antennae of the female are much less developed

Photo details (top): Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D
ISO 250, f/11, 1/160 sec, indirect strobe in white box

(middle): Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D
ISO 250, f/2.8, 1/80 sec, diffuse ambient light with moderate flash backlighting

(bottom): Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D
ISO 100, f/13, 1/160 sec, flash diffused through tracing paper

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »