Beetles

Myrmecos

Category archives for Beetles

This velvety worm-like creature may not look like a beetle, but it is. Beetles are like butterflies, passing through a complex metamorphosis on the way to adulthood, and this insect is the larval stage of a soldier beetle. photo details: Canon EOS 50D camera Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens ISO 100, f/13, 1/250sec

Philothermus glabriculus (Cerylonidae) Urbana, Illinois A while back I noted that, at a rate of one beetle per week, I’d need about 10,000 years to get through all the described species. Since I made that comment we’re getting closer to needing only 9,999 years, but if the Coleopterists keep discovering new ones I’m not sure…

And now, a bark-gnawing beetle…

…for no reason other than that I need something sparkly this morning. Temnoscheila sp. bark-gnawing beetle, Trogossitidae Tucson, Arizona The reflective integument makes this beetle a real trick to shoot. It’s like trying to photograph a mirror- a regular flash either reflects back at full, blown-out glare or not at all. So I shot this…

Penthe pimelia (Tetratomidae) Illinois, USA A couple years back I was working on the Beetle Tree of Life project as a molecular phylogeneticist. My main responsibility was to gather DNA sequence data for several hundred beetles distributed across the spectrum of Coleopteran diversity. As I’m not a Coleopterist, I spent most of my time lost…

Dendroides fire-colored beetle, Illlinois We in the Friday Beetle Department don’t often turn our attention to immature beetles. But these Dendroides larvae are too striking to pass up. Dendroides fire-colored beetles inhabit the flat, two-dimensional space under the bark of dead trees. The oddly compressed body helps this insect squeeze through tight spaces looking for…

Ladybird in the sun

Hippodamia sp. Ladybird beetle Tucson, Arizona Photo details: Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens on a Canon EOS 20D ISO 100, f4.5, 1/320 sec, ambient light

Tenebrio molitor, pupa Tenebrio molitor is a darkling beetle known more for its immature stages than for its adults. It is the ubiquitous mealworm. You can buy these granivorous beetles at any pet store as food for fish, birds, and reptiles. The above shot of a developing pupa requires two sources of light. A flash…

This week was warm enough to go insect hunting in the yard, so the Friday beetle is back with new material.  I snapped a few shots of this little staphylinid under a brick, figuring I’d identify it later. That turned out to be a more complicated process than I’d anticipated.

If I had to pick the most annoying insect in Illinois it’d be Harmonia axyridis. This lady beetle was introduced to our continent as a control agent for aphids but became a pest in its own right. It consumes not just aphids but all manner of other insects, including beneficials like native lady beetles. Swarms…

If you peel back the bark of an old stump in the forests of western North America, there’s a good chance you’ll find some of these attractive tank-like insects. This is Ostoma pippingskoeldi, a predatory beetle in the family Trogossitidae. They lurk about under bark searching for soft-bodied prey, including the larvae of other beetles.…