AIF #6: "Beetle Surprise!"

If there's something most beetles are good at, it's surprising me!  I am often amazed by their various forms and colors as I work with them in an artistic light.  Beetles can surprise us with more than just their looks, though.  Throughout this issue of "An Inordinate Fondness" Blog Carnival, we'll look at some ways that beetles have surprised our contributors.  Who knows, perhaps you too will discover a happy surprise in this issue!

The first submission is perhaps the most touching; the author woke up to discover that they could no longer see in color!  On their way to the doctor, they happened to look down and something green caught their eye!  It was, of all things, a green beetle!

All of the sudden, the author could only view beetles in full color.  It turned out to be temporary, thank goodness, but it gave the author a new appreciation for beetles.  To read more about the special "beetle vision" the author acquired, read the full story at Memorizing Nature's blog.

Another happy beetle surprise occurred when the author of Ptygmatic's blog took home what they thought was a stick full of moth larvae.  When they matured, they turned out to be (surprise!) Cerambycid beetles!  Read the full story here.

This next beetle has a surprise, but it might not be a good one!  Look too closely, and this guy will shoot a stream of toxic blistering agent at you!  It's so powerful that it has been known to kill horses!  Click here for the accompanying short article.

Along the lines of "not so good" surprises, this next author stumbled upon what they thought was an exciting find:  tiger beetles.  Not just one, either...several gorgeous specimens ranging in color from green to purple, and all wonderfully textured and metallic.  

Sadly, these gorgeous creatures had a surprise up THEIR sleeves, so to speak.....they weren't Tiger Beetles at all!  After further investigation, they turned out to be a more common (and easier to catch!) type of Marsh Ground Beetle. Oh well, they're still pretty!  Read all about the collecting adventure here at Fall To Climb's blog.

Next, for your viewing pleasure, a naughty surprise!  Menage a Trois, weevil-style!

Coming to us from MOBugs' blog, the weevils in question are known commonly as Hollyhock Weevils.  An import from Southern Europe, they were first discovered in the U.S. in 1914 and have spread like crazy ever since.  Given a look at this picture, it's not hard to imagine how that happened!  Interestingly, the female is on the bottom here, with the longest "nose".  She uses this rather showy (for a female, at least) appendage to chew into hollyhock flowers for egg-laying purposes.  Read more about Hollyhock Weevils here.

Now, for a more G-Rated surprise, did you know that "June Bugs" could be so pretty?  Please click here to find out!  The surprise here for me is that I could not get this photo to import into my blog.  Sorry!  ;)
Luckilly, there was a second entry about June Beetles with another gorgeous photo that I was able to upolad:  

Please visit MOBugs' blog to learn more about these common spring/summer residents.  You will find out why they fly around so aimlessly, and you'll be surprised to learn that the adults can't even eat!  Just like some moths, they do all their eating in the larval stage and end up starving to death when they mature and (if they're lucky) breed.  I guess I just learned why they aren't still around...

The author of "Blue Jay Barrens" blog was pleasantly surprised when, after learning about Tiger Beetles from the wonderful blog "Beetles in the Bush", he was able to go out and find some for himself, right at home in Ohio!  Here is one species he was able to photograph surprisingly easily:

Read about how he was able to locate it here.  The species is the Eastern Red-Bellied Tiger Beetle, Cicindela rufiventris.
On another collecting trip, the same author found this guy, the "Punctured Tiger Beetle":

The next surprise is from Myrmecos:  he reveals to us a beetle that is surprisingly resistant to all types of pesticides!  The Colorado Potato Beetle has evolved to detoxify more types of pesticides than any other type of insect.  The Potato Beetle itself was in for a nice surprise when, in the 1840's, humans trekking West introduced it to their potatoes!  Before then, the "Potato Beetle" ate native plants that were very un-potato-like.  Read more about this interesting and beautiful beetle here.  

Dave Stone, of "All Things Biological", was surprised to find this scarab beetle in his house!   He also got a surprisingly great photo of it!  Click here for the link.  

Also contributing their surprisingly beautiful photos of beetles is Orion Mystery.  You won't want to miss these weevils!  (Seriously, check them out!  I'm having trouble uploading photos from Flickr, so I apologize for not having a preview.)  I've seen lots of weevils, but there were a few surprises for me in with this batch!  Really super-weird-looking weevils!

Here, from All Things Biological, is a surprising color variation of the Two-Spotted Lady Beetle.  They usually are red with black spots, but here is one that is black with red spots!  Read more about it here.

Margarethe Brummermann was in for a nice surprise when she went hiking in Arizona:  she found this gorgeous scarab specimen with a very localized distribution.  I'm sure she was surprised to find them all over her shirt and hat!  Read more about her lovely hike here.

Our own Ted MacRae was in for a nice surprise as well, when he gambled on taking a rather impulsive collecting trip to look for North America's largest Tiger Beetle, Amblycheila cylindriformis.  His hunch paid off when he was able to collect these fine specimens!  Read more about his pursuit of these beetles here.

To finish up, scroll down to my latest blog entry to see the surprisingly awesome beetles I was able to see "in the wild" on my recent trip to Costa Rica!  Each one of them was a pleasant surprise, but these two were the most impressive:

I hope the wonderful world of beetles has inspired you today, and that you were pleasantly surprised by something you saw here!  Happy Hunting!

Learn more about "An Inordinate Fondness" Blog Carnival here!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the links - an interesting collection.

Violaine said...

Wow, very interesting article & beautiful pictures, I'm learning a lot :-)

Karl said...

It's nice to know the different kinds of beetle. Thanks a lot for sharing that information.

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