Saturday, August 2, 2014

Beetle Mania

Hello fellow naturalists. I’m your scientific doggie host Chester L. W. Spaniel, along with my erudite associate Joseph (Joey dog) Spaniel and this is The Daily Bone.

This is part three of our series on the wonderful little things you can find in your own back yard. It’s that time of year again when insects are everywhere. Mosquitoes buzz our ears and flies swarm on our doggie poops. But we also see lots of butterflies and moths. The crickets chirp all night, fire flies blink in the dark, and cicadas buzz from the tree tops during the day. Today we're looking at some interesting beetles.

This Black Vine Beetle (not native) is about the size of an apple seed. We found it on the kitchen floor. It probably came in on our fur or somebody's clothes. Apparently it’s a real pest because it eats up all kinds of plants. We don't have much trouble with them, though.

This Red Lily Beetle (not native) is one that Mom hates with a passion. They are very pretty and make an engaging squeak if you catch one in your hand. But don’t be fooled by this. Red lily beetles will absolutely decimate Asian lilies. Their grubs can eat an entire lily plant within days, and hide inside lumps their own poop. Mom won’t hesitate to squish them on sight!

Here are the last of the Asian lilies. All the rest are long gone: destroyed by red lily beetles.

Japanese Beetle (not native either!) They destroy lots of nice things, especially roses and the leaves of linden and birch trees. In this picture mating beetles are eating up the pink petals of a beautiful rose. Mom collects these beetles by the handful, drops them in front of an ant's nest and quickly stomps on them before they can fly away. The ants then clean up their corpses. Any grubs she finds in the ground, she feeds to Elvis the gecko. Yum!

Dad was surprised to find this big beetle in the back yard. At first he thought it was a type of stink bug. However, we looked it up and discovered it was an American Carrion Beetle and the only native beetle of the lot!

OK, your assignment is an easy one: go out and find your own bugs and creepy-crawlies.

Addendum: Look at this big gigantic beetle one of our humans found yesterday! Wow!!!


  1. OMD our MOM just LOVES Bugs... unless they sting or bite her... Ernie has a THING fur FLIES...

  2. We got some pretty butterflies and dragonflies. And way too many blood-suckin skeeters.

  3. We have some butterflies and I went any hunting yesterday so we too have been bugging around. Have a serene Sunday and let us all partake of some big easy today.
    Best wishes Molly

  4. Hallo und einen schönen Sonntag,
    lieben Dank - you wrote a comment and I was so happy to read and saw some of the beetles in your backyard. How funny to look after such little animals and with the modern digital camera there are so many best shots. Love to send you a big wuff and some of our sunny greetings.
    Wuff und LG

  5. Dear Chester,

    Beetles are creepy. That is all.