Flower Longhorn, Spotted Flower Buprestid Beetles

This episode features two beetles, the Flower Longhorns and the Spotted Flower Buprestid, that are found on flowers. Though noticeably different in shape, both have the yellow and black coloration of wasp/bee mimics, and both have larvae that love wood. Other than being fellow beetles in the order Coleoptera, they are not related.

False Bombardier Beetle (Family Carabidae)

For years, the BugLady mis-identified this leggy, inch-long beetle as a Bombardier beetle, but having finally managed a decent photo of one, she was able to identify it as a False Bombardier Beetle. Mostly dark-colored, speedy, long-lived, nocturnal carnivores. Its spray consists mainly of concentrated formic acid, with some acetic acid and wetting agents thrown in.

A Bevy of Beetles

Beetles are in the Order Coleoptera, which you Latin and Greek scholars know means sheath wings. Their pair of membranous, flying wings is covered at rest by a top second pair of wings (the elytra) that protects them, but because the elytra have to be held out to each side in flight, they fly awkwardly. In this BOTW we have three types; Long-horned, Blister, and Klamathweed beetles.

Click Beetle (Family Elateridae)

Adult Click Beetles are long skinny beetles with grooves running down their wing covers. Most adult Click Beetles are 12-30 mm long, a few species get up to 45 mm. The front of their heads and the back end of their wing covers are rounded. The hard-coated click beetle grubs, which may spend up to four years in that stage, are called “wireworms”.

Tiger Beetle (Family Cicindelidae)

Tiger Beetles are wolves of the insect world and are described as having “wicked jaws and bulging eyes.” They spot and chase down their prey—ants, caterpillars, aphids, and other small invertebrates—overtaking them, grabbing them with their pinchers, and banging their little bodies against the ground to kill them. Then they suck out the tender-bits and eat some of the crunchy-bits. Beetles have “complete” metamorphosis—like humans, their path to maturity passes through egg, larval and pupal stages before reaching adulthood.

June Beetle (Family Scarabaeidae)

June Bugs are beetles that often appear at the end of May (and so are sometimes called May Beetles) and can be found through part of July. June bugs spend the day sheltered under the ground. They emerge after sunset, over a period of several hours; eating leaves at night. At at dawn, the whole population will disappear within ten minutes.

Winter Houseguests

Now that spring is bursting out all over the place, the Bug Lady would like to dispense with the final, indoor “winterbugs”—the ladybug and the leaf-footed bug—both of which are among the organisms in the Bug Lady’s house that are liable to produce a bad odor when disturbed.

Milkweed Critters

Milkweeds and goldenrods are famous for being hosts to a tremendous variety of insects and other arthropods that come to eat or be eaten. Both adult and immature insects that eat milkweed at some part of their life cycle are poisonous to their predators because of the toxic cardiac glycosides contained in milkweed sap.