Saturday, July 16, 2011

Six-Spotted Flower Strangalia

Thanks to Ted over at Beetles in the Bush I was able to get a fast ID on this beautiful longhorn beetle. It was dining on the blooming peppermint plant in my backyard which it seemed quite fond of. Beetles in this genus love flowers and will often be found among the blooms feasting on nectar. They occur throughout the southwestern, southeastern and south central United States. It is such a tiny beetle to carry such a large name like Six-spotted flower strangalia (Strangalia sexnotata)....seriously who comes up with these things?

Like all beetles that feed on flower nectar and pollen they are excellent pollinators. As larvae they feed and develop in decaying wood. They typically choose hardwood trees as their larval host. They do not seem to be particular which species of tree they target.