Bugs Without Bios I

The BugLady has many pictures of bugs about whom she is having trouble finding much information beyond their basic taxonomy, despite the glories of her home library and all the resources on the World-wide Web. Here is a batch of “Bugs without Bios.”

Pole Borer (Family Cerambycidae)

The Pole Borer can be found during warm months—even marginally warm ones—in/near woodlands in the eastern half of North America. It has the distinction of having been exported to Europe, arriving in Germany during WWI or possibly earlier. A female pole borer excavates clusters of holes in wood, probably using both ends, her mandibles and her ovipositor. She deposits a single egg per hole. The larvae start at ¼ inch and grow to 1 inch, chewing tunnels called galleries into crossties, telephone poles and structural wood and into trees that are already wounded and starting to decompose.

Goldenrod Watch

The BugLady’s advice for the day is: Find yourselves a big clump of goldenrod and start looking. Bring your camera. Bring a lawn chair. What will you see?

Dogbane Leaf Beetle (Family Chrysomelidae)

Dogbane Leaf Beetles are oval-ish, mostly measure less than a half an inch, come in bright colors, have un-spectacular antennae, smallish heads often shielded by a large-ish prothorax (first segment of the thorax), short legs, and domed elytra. The DLB’s incandescence is the result of the play of light on exceedingly small, tilted plates that overlay its pigment layer. Light bounces off both the pigment and the plates, and the colors change with the angle of the observer.

Hairy Rove Beetle (Family Staphylinidae)

Hairy Rove Beetles are found during temperate months in woods east of the Mississippi and also across The Pond. There they mostly hide out under stuff—dead bark, rocks, leaf litter, dung and carrion. Most rove beetles are carnivores or scavengers as both adults and larvae, but a few species eat mushrooms and plant materials. The HRB is counted among the insect tools of Forensic Entomologists who determine post-mortem intervals.

Emerald Ash Borer (Family Buprestidae)

Wisconsin’s first Emerald Ash Borer infestation was discovered in the summer of 2008 on property adjacent to Riveredge Nature Center, just three miles from the BugLady’s home. EABs had been nibbling at the state’s north and south borders for several years, and their leapfrogging of several counties into Ozaukee County was a surprise. Since that date, they have been found elsewhere in the southern half of the state (go to Wisconsin’s Emerald Ash Borer Information Resource and click on the link labeled “Map”).

Big Beetle – Tiny Beetle

Today’s episode—”Big Beetle, Tiny Beetle”—shows some of the amazing range of this fantastic (and largest) order of insects; the Fiery Searchers and Tumbling Flower beetles.

Dermestid Beetle (Family Dermestidae)

Dermestid Beetles are small (about ¼”), dark, compact, short-legged beetles that often have a covering of scales or hairs. Their larvae are dark, reddish-brown and bristly, and are a bit bigger than their parents. Some of these beetles, especially those that live in domestication are called larder beetles. Thery eat some high-protein dried plants, but their primary targets are stored animal materials like cured bacon and ham, dry pet food and dog biscuits, cheese, cereal, hides, wool carpets, upholstery and clothing.

Clay-colored Leaf Beetle ( Family Chrysomelidae)

Clay-colored Leaf Beetles (CCLBs) have a broad crimson stripe, which may refer to some portion of the CCLB’s anatomy. As a group, they come in a variety of shapes and colors and they are vegetarians in both their larval and adult stages. Adults feed in the open on leaves, stems, flowers and/or pollen; many target a specific plant or group of plants for food.

Pennsylvania Leatherwing (Family Cantharidae)

Pennsylvania Leatherwings also called Goldenrod Soldier Beetles are among the most common members of the Soldier Beetles in the Midwest. Adults are found in mind-boggling numbers on the flowers of roadsides and old fields in late summer and throughout fall. References seem divided about the food habits of adult PLWs. Some put them squarely in the vegetarian column eating pollen and nectar, while others put them in the carnivore (small insects) or the omnivore (pollen, nectar and small insects) category.