Blog Archives

Highlands Tiger Beetle

~7mm | August 21, 2012 | Lake Wales Ridge, Polk County, Fl, USA

I wasn’t properly excited when I photographed this tiger beetle. I now know this species, Cicindela highlandensis, is a somewhat rare endemic species. There were no shortage of them at this particular spot though.

Honestly, I ignored them at first, not being sure I wanted to invest the effort required to get some good shots. Eventually, I had already prostrated myself for some shots of other subjects, so I figured what the heck. I’ll admit I was also somewhat motivated by a desire to share some tiger beetle shots here for frequent commenter Ted C. MacRae to see. 🙂 read more

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Leaf-mining Leaf Beetle

8mm long | July 12, 2011 | Victorio Siqueroli Park, Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

This attractive little beetle was resting when I found it. Looking at it here, it almost appears to be nature’s idea of a gaudy holiday light display. Just imagine each of those elytral punctures as a tiny LED, and then imagine them programmed so that the dorsal patterns shift down the eltytra, one puncture at a time. Jokes aside, it actually blends in pretty well with the browning foliage.

This is a leaf-mining leaf beetle, so called because the larvae feed between the surfaces of leaves, creating mines. Adults feed on foliage, and it may be responsible for some of the leaf damage visible here, though I didn’t actually see it eating. read more

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Beetle with Red and Black Elytra

25mm body | July 2, 2011 | Monte Alegre, Minas Gerais, Brazil

I spotted two of these beetles, both on tree bark at the base of trees. I don’t have any of my references with me, so I can only speculate about the family. Tenebrionidae, perhaps?

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Snout Beetle

18mm | January 20, 2011 | Armonia Nature Preserve, Limon Province, Costa Rica

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Black and White Weevil

15mm | January 19, 2011 | Armonia Nature Preserve, Limon Province, Costa Rica

My SWAG for this weevil is Cholus costaricensis, based only on illustration 16 on this plate from the Electronic Biologia Centrali-Americana. I could find no other information about this species online, but the name fits!

It’s got some fancy feet.

Fancy Foot

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Headlight Beetle

25mm | January 19, 2011 | Armonia Nature Preserve, Limon Province, Costa Rica

This click beetle in the family Elateridae was another night find. I’d like to say those light producing organs on the prothorax drew my attention. In reality, its “headlights” were “off” when I found it.

There are many species with these light producing organs spread across many genera, but they are all commonly referred to as headlight beetles.

On a side note, my blacklight flashlight was kind of a bust otherwise I’m afraid to report. I had hoped to find some scorpions at least, but this beetle was the only thing it turned up. read more

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Another Attractive Beetle

9mm | January 19, 2011 | Armonia Nature Preserve, Limon Province, Costa Rica

While I work on some longer posts, here’s another attractive unidentified beetle to ponder. Maybe a pleasing fungus beetle in the family Erotylidae?

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Attractive Beetle

11mm | January 19, 2011 | Armonia Nature Preserve, Limon Province, Costa Rica

I won’t venture an identification here, but it was too attractive to pass up! Can anyone narrow it down for me?

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Mystery Beetles

January 18, 2011 | Gandoca-Manzanillo NWR, Limon Province, Costa Rica

The day I spent in Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge, I encountered many beetles like the one above. They were always crawling around on large leaves. I didn’t observe them feeding or see any obvious damage from possible feeding in their vicinity. Rather, I spotted what I assume are both males and females, possibly coming together for mating. I didn’t actually see any mating though.

I suspect the one above is a male, based on those antennae. Here’s what I figure is a female. There’s also a bit of its frass there (confirmed from another image). read more

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Leaf Beetles and Damaged Leaves

2mm | January 17, 2011 | Cahuita National Park, Limon Province, Costa Rica

This is almost but not quite the shot I was going for. When I first saw this little beetle it was oriented toward the freshly eaten patch. With the frass strewn around, you can just imagine it chewing away at the surface in a circular pattern. I wasn’t quite stealthy enough in my approach however, and I spooked it into moving away.

Below is a similar beetle, perhaps a different sex of the same species. Note the difference between the freshly eaten patch above and the older ones below.

Showing older leaf damage

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