Monday 22 June 2015

Meet...The Beetles! 

Well, some of them anyway...the beetles (Coleoptera) are the largest cohesive group of organisms on the planet so I won't be illustrating all of them! The Chrysomelidae, or leaf beetles, are one of the larger groups that, like this willow leaf beetle, Calligrapha suturella, eat plant parts and tissues as larvae and sometimes as reproductive adults. Photographed at Roaches Pond, Spryfield, NS on June 15, 2015.

This is an aquatic leaf beetle, Donacia sp. The aquatic leaf beetles are only aquatic in their immature stages, usually as stem or root borers of underwater vegetation. They are impossible to identify from photographs. Photographed at Roaches Pond, Spryfield, NS on June 11, 2015.

Another leaf beetle, Sumitrosis inaequalis is the reproductive form of a leaf miner. The larvae, like the aquatic leaf beetles, are specific to certain plants and "mine" the leaves, living and feeding entirely within a plant leaf. This one likely feeds on goldenrod or aster leaves. Photographed along the MacIntosh Run, Spryfield, NS on June 15, 2015.

While there are many beetles that feed on plants, there are also many, such as the Coccinelidae or lady beetles, that prey on other insects. This is an eye-spotted lady beetle, Anatis mali. Like most lady beetles, this large native beetle preys on aphids. Photographed at Roaches Pond, Spryfield, NS on June 18, 2015.

The Carabidae, or ground beetles, are well represented by this large predator, Pterostichus adoxus. Finding and photographing (and identifying!) these fast moving ground beeltes is always a challenge but very satisfying. This one was photographed near Apple River, NS on June 20, 2015.

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