Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Big Beetles

The Nature Preserve I've been visiting is starting to show it's colors. Sure it lacks any and almost all forbs, mainly herbaceous perennial wildflowers, but the wealth of trees are still supporting a fair amount of life.

This was by far the largest stink bug I've ever seen. It was longer than an inch and I seriously didn't want to get to close. There are a number of insects that mimic this insect and are stink free but given the size of this sucker and those orange antenna I didn't want to find out. (Though now that I think of it, this may not technically be a beetle hmm...)

This is an Eyed Click Beetle. It's almost two inches long and the larval stage is a predator of other beetle grubs. Click Bugs are neat because they actually click. The abdomen and thorax flex in such a way to propel the bug several inches into the air. This is handy when they fall on their own back. This particular beetle also has wings which make it look very menacing when it's flying at you.

This is likely in the genus Calopteron species of some sort. Kind of pretty but not that huge compared to the other beetles so far. Adults feed on nectar and tree sap, while the grubs are supposidly predatory but sources are unclear. I think it's neat how it's almost mimicking a moth of some sort.

Grapevine Beetle. This was actually in my yard eating our grapevine. But the forest I was at is only 10 minutes down the road and had plenty of wild grapes growing about.

I'm unsure what the hairs under the abdomen do but this sucker ate half of one leaf in just an afternoon. It's vanished since then but that's an impressive amount of foliage to eat. The adults specialize on grapevines, but the grubs I read are general towards roots and rotting wood.