Bugs Without Bios IX

Spring housecleaning—time to tidy up a few more insects whose biographies are short ones.

Blister Beetles (Family Meloidae)

There are about 410 species of blister beetles in North America north of Mexico and about 4,000 worldwide, and various species have starred in these pages before. Eastern blister beetles are sedately (yet elegantly) colored, but in the Southwest, where the family is most diverse, there are some beautiful species.

O Christmans Tree

‘Tis the Season for conifers to come indoors, so here are two beetles and a primitive wasp whose larvae make their living chewing on assorted evergreens.

Dogbane Leaf Beetle Revisited (Family Chrysomelidae)

Predictably, the Dogbane Leaf Beetle lives and feeds on dogbane (a close relative of milkweed) and on milkweed, too, in edges, open woods, waste spaces, prairies and grasslands over the eastern two-thirds of North America.

Multicolored Asian Ladybug (Family Coccinellidae)

Multicolored Asian Ladybugs (Harmonia axyridis) need no introduction—they’ve been around for a century (especially for the last 30 years). Introduced over the years, they became common in the Midwest about 15 years ago, in the Northeast 20 years ago, and in the Northwest 25 years ago, and its numbers have grown considerably beyond abundant.

Shoreline Rove Beetle (Family Staphylinidae)

Rove Beetles make their living hunting springtails, mites, aphids, and other tiny invertebrates along the marsh and stream edges they inhabit. Whether Stenus is eating the plant tissue or going after another invertebrate feeding there.

Emerald Ash Borer Redux (Family Buprestidae)

Originally from Asia, the Emerald Ash Borer beetle was first discovered in the Detroit, MI area in 2002, but it had probably hitched a ride into this country as much as a decade earlier. Its strong flight typically allows it to increase its range by a mile or two per year, but it doesn’t have to depend on its wings to travel, since humans have been doing the heavy lifting for it.

Where the Lizard and the Antelope (Beetles) Play

The Antelope Beetle is mainly found east of the Great Plains, and it’s one of five Lucanids in Wisconsin, all of which like wooded areas. Lizard Beetles are one of only two members in their genus in North America. Lizard beetles used to have their very own family (Languridae),

Midsummer Report

The BugLady would like to dedicate this episode to the late (great) Cornell Professor Richard B. Fischer (January 19, 1919 – August 7, 2005) who taught the BugLady how to sneak up on insects (no bobbing or weaving, just slow and steady and straight ahead.

It’s a Beetle! Really! (Family Ripiphoridae)

There are about 50 species of these Ripiphorid beetles in North America, and 30 of them are in the genus Ripiphorus. While the general outline of how the family operates has been charted, only one species in the genus Ripiphorus has been studied, and it’s assumed that the other 29 follow the same general pattern.