Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Margined Shiny Leaf Chafer

This beautiful scarab beetle is the Margined Shiny Leaf Chafer (Callistethus marginatus). They are native to the Eastern United States and found as far south as Central America. I found this one in Fillmore, MO this past summer. It was moving around on the clover in the hay field. Even though I now know these are common, I had never seen one before.

Like most all scarabs their life begins underground as grubs where they feed on the roots of turf, plants and young trees. Some scarabs can cause excessive damage to lawns and ornamental plants if their numbers are large enough. This particular species is not known to be a pest.

They do however, resemble a beetle we have come to know as a major pest. The Japanese Beetle has been wrecking havoc from the Eastern seaboard westward for decades now. Their sheer numbers are approaching plague-like proportions. The invasive Japanese Beetle is smaller and has distinct white tufts along the margins of the elytra. 

Margined Shiny Leaf Chafer

  The Margined Leaf Chafer lacks these tufts, but has pale hairs visible along the elytra and at first glance may look like those distinctive tufts. 

Their color is somewhat similar. They both have shiny metallic bodies and wings. Each have a greenish tint to them. The Japanese Beetle has a predominantly green head, pronotum, legs and underside. The MSLC has an over all brownish or reddish-brown color with a metallic green sheen.There is usually a pale-yellowish or cream color margin along the pronotum. Legs are are light color with bands of reddish-brown.

The Japanese Beetle is diurnal whereas MSLC are nocturnal. Although you will find them resting among flowers or vegetation during the day, giving the impression that they are in fact diurnal. They frequently show up at lights at night.

This particular beetle seems to be a favorite of bats. The nocturnal habits of the beetles puts them in the path of night flying bats. Larger bats like Big Brown's are fond of beetles, and this particular species would be a manageable size for capture and consumption. The notion that bats consume large quantities of mosquitoes is a bit of a exaggeration. While they do eat mosquitoes, it just isn't at the amount we are told. If we look at it from the bats perspective....mosquitoes are tiny, lack much nutritional value and would have to consumed in extremely large quantities to benefit them. However, beetles, moths and other larger insects require nearly the same amount of energy to capture and pack a much larger nutritional punch. Compare it to humans at an all-you-can-eat-buffet. Most would not order the salad when that huge buffet beckons.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Bumble Bee Millipede

While not native to Missouri, the Bumble Bee Millipede (Anadenobolus monilicornis) is an interesting invertebrate I thought worth sharing. I have a friend who lives in south Florida, she shipped me a few of these, and another species, to use in the insect and spider programs I do with children at the Nature Center where I work.

Bumble Bee Millipedes, also called Yellow-Banded Millipedes are native to the Caribbean and parts of South America and made their way into South Florida via exotic plant shipments. They are well established in Florida, but cause no real issues for the environment. Homeowners may find them a bit of a nuisance when large numbers of them show up in their basements or other parts of their property. Heavy rains and the moisture left behind will often bring these millipedes out in large numbers. Once inside your home the millipede won't last long as it will dry out quickly from lack of proper moisture. It is not uncommon to find them outside around foundations and in your gardens or along walkways, walls and in your compost pile.

They are detritivores and feed on decaying plant and animals matter. They are estimated to consume as much as 10% of leaf litter in a given habitat, as well as fallen fruit, seeds, mushrooms, feces, and dead invertebrates. They rummage around in leaf litter, under logs and other woodland micro-habitats looking for food, once consumed they turn it into nutrient rich pellets they expel. These fecal pellets are absorbed into the earth creating organically rich soil perfect for plant life to thrive.

These little millipedes are easily recognized by their distinct dark brown or black, and yellow banded coloring, red antennae and red legs. They may reach lengths up to three inches. Like all millipedes they have two pairs of legs per body segment, which has earned millipedes the nick-name of "1,000-leggers."

Determining whether or not you have a male or female millipede in hand might not be as hard as you think. Even though they look alike, males have sexual organs located where the 7th body segment legs should be. If you count 7 body segments back from the head and the "legs" look shorter, or odd in someway compared to the other legs, chances are you are holding a male. These external reproductive organs help the male transfer sperm directly to the female as they face each other. They may remain locked together for long periods of time. Once the female is mated, she will create a small nest to deposit her eggs. She remains with the eggs to guard them from potential predators. Once hatched the newly born millipedes will appear similar to their adult counterparts, with the exception of leg count. Millipedes are born with one pair of legs per body segment. Through molting and growing they will eventually develop more legs.
Young millipedes are fed a diet of fecal pellets from their mother for a period of time before they begin foraging on their own.

Millipedes have a few defensive strategies up their proverbial sleeves, of which there would be many, if they had them. If harassed they will form a tight coil that protects their delicate underside and legs. They may secrete a substance that tastes bad to anything that might want to eat them. This substance will burn your eyes, so don't rub them after handling a millipede! They may also vomit the contents of their stomach which can stain skin and be very difficult to wash off and remain with you for several days. Birds and monkeys have learned to utilize the millipedes natural defenses to their advantage. They will grab a millipede and crush it, then rub the secretions all over their fur or feathers. This affords them protection from biting insects in a form of insect repellent.

These small, yet colorful, millipedes make excellent program animals. They do not bite, or sting. They move slowly and just by their sheer nature are not intimidating or scary. They are great additions to a compost pile and help break down the organic matter within. Not to mention they are just plain cool to look at, watching all those legs moving in unison is mesmerizing.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Variegated Fritillary

Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) Butterflies are common in Missouri, but I only ever encounter a few each season. This year I did not see my first one until a couple of weeks ago when it was nectaring at the sedum in my yard. Late season blooming flowers like sedum, and goldenrod attract a lot of hungry butterflies and other insects late in the season. Food sources are beginning to die and good nectaring plants are hard to come by. If  you want to keep butterflies and other flower loving insects around in your garden longer be sure to plant flowers that bloom at various times of the growing season. Sedum, or Forever Plants as my grandma always called them, are super easy to grow. Find a friend that has some and ask to pick a shoot or two from theirs. Pluck them directly in the ground and water, viola', that's it! Cheap and easy and butterflies love them!

Variegated Fritillaries are related to fritillaries in the genus Speyeria, which includes the Regal Fritillary, and the Great-Spangled Fritillary, but there are distinct differences that separate them. First, the VF has numerous broods each season, whereas butterflies in the genus Speyeria only have one. VF use numerous plants as host plants, including Passionvine, which biologically connects them to the Heliconia Butterflies (longwing butterflies). Speyeria use plants in a single genus.... Viola (violets). This plant specific host preference is one reason some species of fritillaries in this genus are endangered, like the Regal Fritillary that lives in Missouri Prairies. Missouri has lost 98% of it's prairies to agriculture, urban development and habitat degradation. This loss of habitat makes it increasingly difficult for host specific species to hold on in what has essentially become island habitats.

Pearl Crescent

Silvery Checkerspot
The VF closely resembles two unrelated species, Pearl Crescent and Silvery Checkerspot (See pictures for comparison).
Variegated Fritillaries have orangish-tan forewings with black veins and checkered markings. There are black dots close the wing margins. The underwings resemble dead leaves which afford them protection from predation. Wingspan is approximately 1 3/4- 3 1/8 inches.

They are found all throughout North America and South America in meadows, along roadsides, in wastelands, flower gardens and forage fields like alfalfa and clover. 

Their genus name, Euptoieta, is derived from the Greek word euptoietos meaning "easily scared." Observations of this species by naturalists noted their swift, flighty reaction to being approached. I personally have never had a problem approaching or photographing this species. This particular one was especially tolerant of my presence. Could be it was tattered and worn and just plain tired and more focused on what sustenance it could get than by my bothersome proximity. In other words, it just didn't care.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Colorado Insects----Hedgehog Fly

The Spiny Tachina Fly (Paradejeania rutilioides) or as it is affectionately referred to by many entomologist, the hedgehog fly, is found throughout western North America and into Central America.

These large Bristle flies in the family Tachinidae measure up to 3/4 ( or a bit more) of an inch in length and are covered in bristly hairs giving them a superficial resemblance to hedgehogs, earning them their common name. Overall color is black and pumpkin orange, wings are smoky colored and bristles are black.

Our recent trip to Georgetown and Idaho Springs, CO took us well into the range for this fly, that up until spotting it near Clear Creek, I had no idea existed. I must admit I was shocked to see a tachinid fly this LARGE, it was giant in comparison to the tachinid flies I am used to seeing at home in NW Missouri. If you are an entomologists; professional or amateur, and love photography as well, and are faced with something this unusual you almost panic at the thought it will get away without getting a good look at it or preferably a picture of it! I hit PANIC mode as I did my best stealth movements in order to sneak a closer look, only to have it fly away to another plant. This went on for quite some time before it finally got tired or gave up and decided I meant no real threat. Then I noticed two more nearby on the same type of plants. Each fly was nectaring at the bright yellow flowers of groundsel. Locally I now know these flies are very common, but to an out-of-stater this was an exciting find!

This fly is a known parasitoid of the Edward's Glassy-wing moth (Hemihyalea edwardsii). Females will seek out the caterpillars of this species of moth and lay their eggs. When the eggs hatch they will feed on the caterpillar. Tachinid flies are excellent at controlling troublesome insects such as caterpillars, and stink bugs that feed on crops and other agricultural plants of economic importance. They are also secondary pollinators. Their habit of nectaring at flowers makes them excellent transporters of pollen.

My good friend Eric Eaton at Bug Eric
did an excellent write-up about this species as well as another spikey-bottomed fly. Be sure to check it out.

I was fortunate enough to capture several images of this species before it became too dark to allow for decent images. I never tire of finding new-to-me unique insects to observe, photograph and learn about.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Hide Beetle

Hide beetles in the family Trogidae are unusual looking beetles with warty bodies covered in dried mud. They are brown, black or grayish-brown in color with a flat abdomen. They are related to scarabs and are often mistaken for one. There seems to be much debate among scientists as to whether they should be classified in their own family or as a subfamily of Scarabaediae. Apparently the confusion has something to do with the eye structure. Ommatidium of the eye are the structures that act like lenses and are made up of photoreceptor cells. The more ommatidium an insect or arthropod has, the more advanced it is considered to be. For instance isopods may only have a half dozen ommatidium, whereas dragonflies have  30,000 or more. Hide beetles differ enough in their eye structure from Scarabaeidae that many feel they warrant their own family.

More than 300 species make up the Trogidae family and they are found Worldwide with more living in drier or temperate climates than in moist or wet climates. They are a relatively small family of beetles and very little is known about them. Many species live solely in mammal burrows or birds nests and have not been studied adequately. These nest dwellers feed on feathers, fur, skin and feces. Typically they will be the last beetles to show up at a carcass to feed on feathers, fur and skin....the things other carrion feeders tend to ignore. The only exception seems to be if the dead body has been burned, then these beetles are the first to arrive. They will eat the charred outside of the unfortunate victim, leaving the softer, fleshy parts for other carrion feeders to consume.

Mating takes place near a piece of carrion, the female will dig a burrow underneath the carcass to act as a nursery. After laying eggs within the burrow she moves on and the newly hatched larvae will have a ready food supply in the form of bits and pieces of dried skin, feathers, fur or other tidbits they can scavenge. Typically it takes them 4 or 5 molts (instars) to reach adulthood, and will measure up to 20 mm (1 inch) when fully grown.

Sometimes these beetles are referred to as Skin Beetles, but this description is usually used for Dermestid beetles. Although, just like dermestid beetles, many museums will use hide beetles to clean specimens of fur, feathers and skin to ready them for displays or education props.

The one pictured here was found in late spring at a mercury vapor light I had out to attract insects. Over the course of several nights I found numerous hide beetles, their dirt covered bodies hiding among the vegetation. They are relatively difficult to see and when they've been disturbed, or discovered they will sit completely motionless, feigning death. Pretty good ruse if you have a hungry predator after you. Don't move and don't be seen.

Monday, September 17, 2018


Eleven years ago, as a volunteer for the Conservation Department, I suggested to the Naturalist we should create an event that celebrates insects and spiders. I felt there was a serious need for education on the importance of insects and spiders. I pitched her my ideas and she loved it. After much planning, and organizing our very first Insect-o-rama was launched. It was so successful that for next 10 years we continued with the tradition. A lot has changed in my life in those subsequent years. After 7 years as a volunteer I was employed by MDC as a naturalist. I continued in that position for 6 years before being offered a position at the local Nature Center. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to work for Remington Nature Center, and became their naturalist nearly 3 years ago. The NC embraced Insect-o-rama and allowed me to continue the event.

Every second Saturday in September we invite experts in their fields to share with our visiting guests their various interests. Paul Landkamer, a entomophagy (a big fancy word for someone who enjoys eating bugs) enthusiast brings LOTS, and LOTS of bugs that he has lovingly sauteed, fried, baked, and otherwise prepared for those brave enough to sample some. Over the years I've tried many insects, including June bugs, grasshoppers, cicadas, wheel bugs, mealworms, and even a hornworm. My all time favorite, believe it or not, are the stink bugs! They are crunchy, tasty, little treats that surprised even me with their yummyness!

The worst, by far, was the hornworm. This rubbery, abomination was about as palatable as an old shoe and equally as chewy. I could not drink enough water to wash that thing down and must say most of it ended up in the trash!!! That aside, everything else I've tried was quite good, and certainly healthy. This is a great way to teach people that protein comes in all forms, not just steak and eggs.

Several people I know from the Kansas City area, including Betsy Betros (who wrote an amazing Butterfly book, for the link to order, see the side bar on my blog), Linda Williams, Joyce Bollman, Patty Schulenberg, Lyn & Tom Fry and their daughter Tammy have shared their love of butterflies and moths. Each of these individuals collect eggs, or capture caterpillars and adults to rear in their homes. They use these butterflies and moths, in their various stages of development to set up at events like ours, and also Butterfly festivals at Powell Gardens.
This is one of the most popular exhibits at our event and the tables are always surrounded by individuals in awe of the diversity of these winged creatures. Even in the caterpillar stage they generate a lot of ooooohs and awes, maybe more so!

In years past our local Health Department has set up a wonderful, educational booth on insects that can impact human health. In recent years we've seen a surge in bedbug infestations, and many people have questions about them. Their display includes information on those pesky night time, bloodsucking visitors that have plagued mankind since we first appeared. Do they pose serious health risks to humans? Or are they just a nuisance? They also provided valuable information on mosquitoes and ticks.....all the bugs we love to hate.

  In conjunction with the health department, a local pest control company, Preferred Pest Control, sets up a booth to guide homeowners on the options available for household pests that none of us wants to deal with. This includes, bedbugs, termites and cockroaches, among others. Their booth is always interesting, interactive, and educational and often geared towards children. No fear tactics here! They recognize that not all bugs are bad and enjoy celebrating the good side of insects without spreading "all bugs are bad" misinformation. We love the Cooperiders!They even have a cute termite mascot!!! It doesn't get any better!

The local university, MWSU, gets in on all the fun when their professor of biology/entomology brings numerous students. These awesome young people assist our guests with aquatic dip netting in the pond or lagoon, with microscopes and even an exciting game of cockroach races.

Many of our insects begin life in the water, and later emerge in their adult form, this includes dragonflies, damselflies, mayflies, as well as others. This is a great way to introduce children to the diversity of insect life around them and how important it is to keep our water sources pollution free.

Microscopes offer guests the opportunity to experience minuscule life forms in all their weirdness and awesomeness. They learn how many insects are truly living around them that they will never see with the naked eye. It has been said that every square inch of soil holds some sort of insect life....most we just never see. Cockroach races, face it, are just plain fun! Giant hissing cockroaches are placed in PVC racing troughs and coached and encouraged by our guests to see who will reach the finish line. We've only had a few roaches make a break for it!

For decades insects have invaded our country from other nations. They make their way to U.S. soil in various ways. Some accidentally and others are purposely brought here with the idea they will control other insects we view as noxious or injurious. Often what happens is these insects wreck havoc on our environment. Several such bugs are destroying trees by the millions all across the Eastern United States. Emerald Ash Borers, Asian Longhorn Beetles, and Gypsy Moths are running amok and taking their toll on ash trees and various other species of trees and plant life. Each year we try to educate our public about the importance of being responsible and not moving firewood. If you cut wood at home, don't transport it too your camping destination in another county or state. Buy your firewood locally. This helps tremendously to cut back  on the level of infestation these insects are capable of.
We borrow a Emerald Ash Borer costume from the USFS and coerce one of our university students with free pizza to dress up and spread the message "Don't move FIREWOOD!"

The Honey Bee is Missouri's state insect and no insect event would be complete without beekeepers. Our local "Swarm Chasers" bee group set up every year and answer the many questions people have about bees. "How do we become beekeepers?" "How much does it cost?" "How difficult is it?" "Where have all the bee gone?" Without bees our ecosystem would collapse and we would have to get used to not having many of the foods we enjoy or depend on. Beekeeping as a hobby has surged in recent years and our local keepers are fantastic at sharing their passion for these important pollinators.

Spiders, Spiders, Spiders.....not everyone's favorite to be sure, but love em' or hate em' they are important members of the ecosystem. They provide free pest control  and gobble up hundreds of tons of insects each year. I had arachnophobia for most of my life. A little over a decade ago I became determined to conquer that fear. I spent four years overcoming my phobia and now I am in love with these 8-legged creatures and own 5 tarantulas! Fears can be managed or even conquered with the right motivation and determination. We've had numerous individuals over the years come into our event with the express purpose of facing a spider and moving one inch closer to getting over a lifelong fear! These are some of my favorite moments, to watch someone go from frozen in fear, to fascination!

Exploration, discovery and education are key to teaching our young people to love and respect nature. Hands-on activities are necessary to make lifelong connections. We can talk, and preach until we are blue in the face, but nothing breaks down barriers faster or more thoroughly than actually holding a tarantula for the first time, or sticking your fingers in pond muck and finding an alien-looking creature that turns out to be a dragonfly baby.
Laughter, as they race cockroaches or, sample some insect fare will stay with them for a lifetime as they look back and say "remember when....?"

Let me encourage you to make your own discoveries. Get outside and explore, get dirty and make memories to last a lifetime.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Colorado Insects----Grote's Underwing

Grote's Underwing Moths (Catocala grotiana) belong to the moth family Erebidae. Native to Arizona, Utah, Colorado and other parts out west. Although they are rarely encountered in the Northwest. There are over 250 known species of Underwing moths in this genus and approximately half live in North America, with the lions share being in the United States. The other half are found throughout Europe.
Members of this genus use cryptic coloring to blend into their environment in a perfect bark-like camouflage that makes them virtually impossible to see. If a predator happens upon one, it will flash its brightly colored underwings at the offender, temporarily startling it. Ideally this will allow the moth time to fly away, avoiding being some hungry predators snack.

The one pictured here was found nectaring at the Nodding Groundsel Flowers and photographed around 4:00 in the afternoon. When I posted this picture to Facebook a friend of mine, Eric Eaton  over at Bug Eric commented "What's wrong with this picture?" I was perplexed for a bit as to why he asked that. Then he pointed out this is a nocturnal moth, out during the day, nectaring at flowers. Unusual behavior for a nocturnal moth to be sure, but I would guess this is a night flying moths version of a "midnight snack."

Augustus Radcliffe Grote
These are a medium-sized moth with a wingspan up to 3 inches. The wings are black or charcoal gray with distinct white or pale gray stripes. These markings are key in identification of this species as many underwings look very similar to each other. The underwings are dark red or orange with black lines. They are typically seen in August, and September, but may be around as late as October, weather depending.

Primarily a Mountain Species. 
Grote's Underwings were named to honor a well known, passionate lepidopterists named Augustus Radcliffe Grote. Grote was born in England in 1841 and spent most of his adult life in the America's where he studied, discovered, curated, collected and wrote about Moths and Butterflies. In 1884 he left the United States after selling his extensive and highly valuable collection to the British Museum. He died in Germany in 1903 at the age of 64.

Females will release a pheromone into the air that attracts males from as much as mile away. After mating, the female will seek out Willow, Poplar, Aspen and Cottonwood trees. They are often found near Aspen groves. Females will lay eggs on the bark of the host trees. The eggs will overwinter protected from the cold behind the bark of the tree. In the spring they hatch and make their way to the leaves to munch away until they are ready to pupate. At this time they will make their way to the ground and form a pupal cell under the soil. A few weeks later the adult will emerge. There is most likely only one generation per year.

Sometimes we find the unexpected in the most expected places! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Colorado Insects----Hunt's Bumblebee

On a recent trip to Colorado we experienced gorgeous scenery, beautiful temperatures and very little bug life. We rented a cabin in the higher elevations which meant cooler temperatures and very little 6-legged critters scurrying about. We made several trips down the mountain to the lower elevations and spent time near a river called Clear Creek, where we enjoyed relaxing near the rushing water, and in the case of my husband fly-fishing. On one such trip to the river, while my husband fished, I found numerous insects to watch and photograph. One such insect was the Hunt's Bumblebee (Bombus huntsii). I've often seen pictures on the Internet of the yellow, black and orange furred bumblebees and it became a goal of mine to one day see one.....and viola there it was right in front of me sleeping inside a cluster of blooms. I coaxed it out gently so as not to be stung and it nonchalantly climbed onto my hand and hung out with me for quite awhile, seemingly uncaring a huge beast now held her in their hand. Such a trusting little fuzz-butt.

 The Hunts Bumblebee can be found in many different habitats, including prairies, scrubby desert areas, meadows, along roadsides, and streams and even as far up as Mountains and Volcanoes. Although these high altitude (above 3,000 feet) lovers are the more adventurous and tolerant of the species. This would not be a common place to find them. Alongside the river and foraging on the Nodding Groundsel Flowers seemed to be the preferred place for this particular bee and several of her friends, or hive sisters.

With over 3,000 bee species in the United States alone there is no shortage of bees, bumblebees in the genus Bombus make up 40 different species. They are probably the most recognized and under-appreciated of the bees. They are typically larger than other species of bees and covered with an excessive amount of fur that keeps them insulated from cooler temperatures allowing them to be active when most bees are waiting for it to warm up. There is much debate, among scientists, who debate these sorts of things, that bumblebees are much better at pollinating wildflowers than any other species of bees, including our industrious honey bee. 

This species occurs throughout Western North American, including Canada and parts of Mexico. They are most active during the summer and early fall and are considered common in their range. Although there is some indication their numbers are declining, which may be attributed to habitat loss and less flowers to gather pollen and nectar. They are not large by bumblebee standards, where the Eastern Common Bumblebee may reach lengths over an inch, this species is more average in size at a modest 1/2 inch with queens slightly larger at approximately 3/4 of an inch.

 Like almost all bumblebees, they nest underground or hidden away from predators. A bred queen wakes up from hibernation with one thing on her mind, find a home and lay eggs! She will locate an abandoned rodent burrow, wood pile, hay pile or area near the foundation of a building where she will set up house. First job is to create a small honey pot that she will fill with pollen to feed her future brood. Once she has collected plenty of provisions she will lay eggs directly on the mound of pollen and place her body over the eggs to incubate and protect them. She will only leave the nest, at this point, to gather more provisions, if needed.

 In about four weeks the newborn bees begin appearing and their job will be to clean the hive, gather pollen and nectar and take care of the larvae. The queens only job at this point is to lay eggs and grow the hive. While a hive may reach hundreds of individuals, it is more common to have approximately 100-200 members. In the late summer adults will emerge that are males, and virgin females. These future queens will take their maiden flight seeking males. Once mated, the males die and the new queens forage for food until it is time to dig a small chamber that acts as a hibernacula which protects her from the harsh winter weather. In the spring the cycle starts all over again.

The colors on the Hunts Bumblebee are stunningly gorgeous and I am so happy to mark this one off my lifer list of insects. This was such a sweet encounter with the ever humble, bumblebee.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Bellamira Scalaris

Wasp mimics come in all shapes, sizes and colors and this beetle is a fine example of one. This is the longhorn beetle Bellamira scalaris. It has no common name that I could find, so I am assuming little, beyond the basics, is known about them. They do a great imitation of a paper wasp in the genus great in fact that when it dived-bombed my daughter she jumped and swatted at it when it landed on her shirt. I immediately knew it wasn't a wasp and grabbed it before it could get away. I did not expect it to be this particular beetle of which I was not familiar with until this encounter. My daughter thought I was nuts for grabbing something when I had no idea what it was, especially when she was convinced it was packing a stinger.

The family Cerambycidae includes all the longhorn beetles, but this particular species does not possess especially long antennae like many others in this family do. The body is elongated and somewhat bottle-shaped. The wings do not quite cover the abdomen and their coloring is a rich reddish-brown and black with tan and black markings on the wing coverings.

They are a fairly large beetle measuring up to 26 mm (or 1 1/4 inches). Look for adults around flowers where they take nectar. Females deposit eggs on trees such as Alder, Maple, Cottonwood, Willow, Hickory and Pine. Where the larvae feed on the decaying wood. Their range is quite large, and includes Southern Canada, southward to all of the Eastern United States and westward to Texas and South Dakota. Even though their range is extensive, they are rarely encountered, which suggests their numbers do not occur in large enough populations to be noticed readily. Or perhaps most people, at first glance, think they are looking at a wasp and pay them no attention.

Comparison of B. scalaris with paper wasp, sp. polistes.

Seems there are always new bugs to discover, if we just take time to look....or in this case grab...!