Sexton Beetle (Nicrophorus carolina)

I think this is where I have to admit I have a problem. I was hanging around in the backyard, waiting for our dog do what she does best, and noticed that one of our local anole lizards had passed on. I knelt down to look, and saw that it was swarming with ants. “Oooh,…

Asian Lady Beetle

I grew up calling these “ladybugs”, too, but, technically, Harmonia axyridis, and other lady beetles, are not true bugs. H. axyridis, also known as the harlequin lady beetle, Halloween lady beetle, Asian lady beetle, or multicolored Asian ladybeetle, is native to eastern Asia, but was introduced to Europe and North America in order to control…

Shining Leaf Chafer Beetle

Oh dear — another glorious little beetle who has been formally named, and then abandoned, a series of tiny stub articles on Wikipedia and not even mentioned in the Britannica article on shining leaf chafer beetles. I understand that even if 50% of the human population each picked a species of beetle and spent their…

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…

Oak Leaf Rolling Weevil

Meet Homoeolabus analis, the oak leaf rolling weevil! These attractive little weevils (I love weevils) with black bodies and red elytra are named for their habit of rolling up oak leaves (a process called nidification — the rolls themselves are called nidi, singular: nidus) to protect their eggs and larvae. It’s actually a pretty complex…

Globe-Marked Lady Beetle

This little gray lady beetle with black spots is the globe-marked lady beetle, Azya orbigera. It’s found in North and South America, and in Oceania, and…that’s about all we know, which is kind of a shame. The larvae are fluffy little white things that look like mealyworms.

Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle

This globular, yellow creature is the larva of a swamp milkweed leaf beetle, Labidomera clivicollis. Leaf beetles, in the family Chrysomelidae, tend to be named after the plants on which they specialize; as you may guess, the swamp milkweed leaf beetle eats the leaves of the swamp milkweed plant, Asclepias incarnata. These larvae will grow…

Cottonwood Leaf Beetle

Meet the cottonwood leaf beetle, Chrysomela scripta. These charming little beetles are about 6mm long. They are red, orange or yellow with black spots/broken black lines on the elytra, and a reddish or yellow margin on the thorax. Both adults and larvae really love leaves, to the point of skeletonizing them, and are serious defoliators…

Blapstinus Fuscus

This petite (8mm) black beetle, Blapstinus fuscus, was late to a party somewhere on my driveway, but still paused to let me catch a photo. Ordinarily I’d refer to this by its common name, “darkling beetle”, but “darkling beetle” refers to the entire family, Tenebrionidae, and eventually this page would have 12 billion photos in…

Twice-Stabbed Lady Beetle

Although the common names for this kind of tiny round beetle include “ladybird” and “ladybug”, the correct term is “lady beetle”. This is neither a bird nor a bug (“bugs” technically refers to an order of insects, of which the lady beetle is not a member). The common name (“twice-stabbed lady beetle”) actually refers to…

June Bug / May Beetle

Technically, this is neither a June bug nor a May beetle as I found this individual in April. It is not a true bug; it is instead a scarab beetle, Phyllophaga sp. Alas, further identification would require me becoming very personal with this little guy, and, as always, I prefer not to damage my photo…

Asiatic Garden Beetle

This 8mm long brownish scarab beetle is the Asiatic garden beetle (Maladera castanea). It is native to East Asia, but has established itself through most of the eastern United States as well. (Of interesting note is that it took nearly 100 years from first being spotted in New York to make its way down to…

Calligrapha Beetle

Why is there not more written about this family of darling little beetles? Something like 80 species and subspecies of leaf beetles in the genus Calligrapha roam from Canada to Argentina, each one uniquely striped, splashed, or spotted black against a vividly colored, often red, green, or gold, background. They are sometimes pestiferous and their…

Sri Lankan Weevil

This diminutive Muppet is, unfortunately, an exotic, invasive pest which arrived in Florida around the year 2000 and is quietly eating its way through native, ornamental, vegetable and fruit plants. The adults eat the leaves; the larvae eat the root systems. Alas! Everything cute is terrible and evil. The Sri Lankan weevil (either Myllocerus undecimpustulatus…

Whitefringed Weevil

The whitefringed beetle, or whitefringed weevil, Naupactus leucoloma, is originally from South America but can now be found across the southern US, Australia, and South Africa. They are a type of weevil with a broad, down-pointing snout. Adults are relatively large for a weevil, around 12 mm long. N. leucoma is light to dark gray-brown…

Punctured Tiger Beetle

The punctured tiger beetle, Cicindela punctulata, is common throughout North America and is primarily recognized by the twin lines of indentations on either side of its midline. It is also known as the sidewalk tiger beetle. Tiger beetles are a group of more than 2,600 known species and subspecies living all over the world. They…