Two Shiny Beetles (Family Phalacridae)

Shiny Flower Beetles appeared in the first half of August, covering goldenrods and a few other members of the Aster/Composite family. SFBs produce a single generation a year, timed to coincide with the flowering of their favorite composite. Red Sumac Leaf Beetles larvae travel about in cases made from their own fecal material. Females oviposit in the leaf litter, the larvae eat dead leaves and grow there spending the winter deep under the insulating leaves.

Two More Blister Beetles (Family Meloidae)

Blister Beetles are famous for their choice of weapons. They protect themselves from predators by causing a caustic chemical called cantharidin to seep from their joints when alarmed (reflex bleeding). There are about 2,500 species of them in the world, and about 410 of them are found in North America. Like many insects that have complete metamorphosis, Blister Beetles occupy different habitats and enjoy different diets as larvae than they will as adults.

Reticulated Net-winged Beetle (Family Lycidae)

The BugLady thinks this is a Reticulated Net-winged Beetle (Calopteron reticulatum). If not, it’s a Banded NwB (C. discrepans). There are still some rather large gaps in our knowledge of its natural history and its diet.

Three Surprising Beetles

The BugLady has photographed three beetles this summer that she’s never seen before (well, four, if you count that really out-of-focus long-horned beetle).

Recent Bug Adventures

The BugLady has been out with her camera, walking non-aerobically and peering into plants. The “peering” has resulted in some interesting (if blurred) sightings (her macro lens is getting a bit cranky). Amazing things have been happening on milkweed, probably spurred by a banner crop of aphids on the leaves.

Waterlily Leaf Beetle (Family Chrysomelidae)

Waterlily Leaf Beetles can be found in weedy ponds and lakes and very slow streams all over North America. The adults are leggy, up to a half-inch long, often metallic, with antennae about half as long as their body; they are jumpy and can move fast, and they’re a little camera shy.

Goldenrod Leaf Miner (Family Chrysomelidae)

The Goldenrod Leaf Miner is listed as “common” over most of the U.S. and into southern Canada (the BugLady has apparently been overlooking it all this time). The GLM is a small, rugged-looking beetle with pitted thorax and elytra and flashy red-orange racing stripes. They are found on goldenrods, often nestled in the dense vegetation of the goldenrod bunch galls at the top of the stem.

Buttercup Beetle (Family Chrysomelidae)

Prasocuris vitatta habitat needs often involve sunny wetland edges in the eastern half of North America where members of the buttercup family grow, and they’re also found on the introduced Common/meadow/tall buttercup that grows along roadsides and woodland edges.

Imported Willow Leaf Beetle (Family Chrysomelidae)

Imported Willow Leaf Beetles are northern European natives that reached our shores in 1915; they’re common in the eastern half of the U.S. and north into Canada. Adults overwinter in bark crevices or on the ground in leaf litter, and they leap into action when trees begin to leaf out.

Bugs without Bios V

The BugLady dedicates Bugs without Bios episodes to insects about whom, despite all the words that are floating around out there, she can discover only a little information.