Tumbling Flower Beetle

This beetle is so tiny (approximately 2-3mm long) that I wasn’t even sure it was an insect when I snapped its photo. This minuscule insect is a tumbling flower beetle, or pintail beetle, in the family Mordellidae. These beetles all share the long, pointed abdomen extending past the elytra, the bent-over posture with the angle between the elytra and pronotum being almost 90 degrees, and the extended, “hoppy” back legs.

Those elongated hind legs give the beetles their name: when disturbed, they kick and “tumble” about, making them (at 2 mm, I remind you) very hard to follow and/or catch.

I’m afraid I can’t get this beyond family — I would have to be able to count the number of ridges on its hind legs, and, again, this tiny dude is 2 mm long. It’s sitting on a buttonbush flower, if that helps give a sense of scale!

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