Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Recent Beetles

Moths, butterflies, and flies are not the only active insects right now. I have also been seeing a variety of beetles. The one above is a regular presence at the back porch if the light is on. This is a May beetle, sometimes called a "Junebug." I think this one is in the genus Phyllophaga. I see a lot of these when I am looking for moths; sometimes a dozen or more will be on the screen door.

The second also came to the back porch while I was looking for moths. This is an Oriental Beetle (Anomala orientalis), an introduced species that apparently is considered a lawn pest. I have not noticed any problems from them myself, but perhaps there are not enough around here to cause trouble.

The third is another introduced species, a Japanese Beetle (Popillia japonica). This beetle is rarely a welcome visitor as it feeds on a wide variety of cultivated plants. APHIS gives its background as follows:
Japanese beetles were first found in the United States in 1916 near Riverton, New Jersey. Since then Japanese beetles have spread throughout most states the lie east of the Mississippi River. However, partial infestations also occur west of the Mississippi River in states such as Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Usually infestations in states west of the Mississippi River are eradicated before the Japanese beetle becomes established.
This one happens to be feeding on a coneflower.

The fourth is a toe-winged beetle (Ptilodactyla sp.). These beetles are attracted to artificial light; I had previously seen some of these during a session of mothing. This one turned up in my bedroom a few nights ago. Unlike the previous three, which are all scarab beetles, this one is in the family Ptilodactylidae, which are mostly aquatic.

The order Coleoptera includes the long-snouted weevils in addition to the more familiar leaf and scarab beetles. The last photo in this batch is an Imported Long-horned Weevil (Calomycterus setarius). This one happens to be resting on a coneflower. To me, its body looks like it had been knitted.