Forked Fungus Beetle (Family Tenebrionidae)

The Forked Fungus Beetle is in the Darkling beetle family Tenebrionidae and is the only species in its genus. It’s found east of the Mississippi, at night, in the woods, in the company of woody, polypore shelf fungi. All stages of the beetle live and overwinter and reproduce and feed in/on woody shelf fungi.

June Bug Redux (Family Scarabaeidae)

The BugLady is dusting off and sprucing up a BOTW from six years ago. A clarification: a number of different genera of beetles in various regions of America are also popularly called June bugs/May beetles (and there’s even a conspicuous on-line image of a Japanese beetle, genus Popillia, labeled as a June beetle). Our June bugs, in the genus Phyllophaga, are the real ones.

Longhorns without Bios (Family Cerambycidae)

It’s a large family, with more than 20,000 species worldwide and 1,200 species north of the Rio Grande, and it’s divided into eight subfamilies. Many LongHorns are economically important because their larvae bore into dead/dying/cut wood, lowering its value as timber (but aiding in the recycling of the forest).

Flat-headed Poplar Borer (Family Buprestidae)

Today’s star is a metallic wood boring beetle called (probably) the Flatheaded Poplar Borer (Dicerca tenebrica—unless it’s D. divaricata, the Flatheaded Hardwood Borer). There are about 25 species in the genus, and the tips of their elytra (the hard covers that protect the flying wings) are longish, a tad blunt, and slightly separated or flared at their tips.

European Elm Bark Beetle (Family Curculionidae)

The European Elm Bark Borer (Scolytus multistriatus), a.k.a the Dutch elm weevil, a.k.a. the Smaller European elm bark beetle, is an alien that was first observed in the U.S. in 1909, though it undoubtedly arrived earlier. Surveys in 1933 found the beetles clustered around the seaports of Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia.

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.