Spring is definitely here in North Carolina! Actually, we went from cold, rainy, chilly weather straight into warm, summery weather with nothing in between, but there’s been a sudden explosion of leaves and flowers and insects and birds and who knows what else. It’s fantastic! I suspect this “spring” is only going to last a short while and soon it will be quite hot, so I intend to enjoy it thoroughly while it lasts.
Today I have 5 brand new photos of an insect I’ve been seeing all over the field station where I work the last few days. Meet Euphoria:
… also known as the bumble flower beetle (Euphoria inda). I think the common name accurately reflects part of the beetle’s personality as I found this little beauty when I mistook it for a bee a couple of days ago. I’d been watching the eastern carpenter bees making and defending territories when I saw a bee crash into the ground. When I went over to investigate, I saw something that looked like this:
It wasn’t a bee at all, but Euphoria, a fantastic scarab beetle! It tried to fly away when I picked it up, making a loud buzzing reminiscent of its namesake as it attempted to escape, but I snatched it out of the air and slipped it into my lunch bag to take it home to photograph. I’d never seen one of these before, so I thought it was a special find. Look how beautiful this beetle is!
Gorgeous mottled elytra (those hard outer wings that protect the flying wings underneath), amazing textures, and fur. Look at that fur! They’re so fuzzy! And just because, here it is from the other side:
These beetles supposedly overwinter as adults and become active in the spring, but then they’ll disappear for a while before the next generation develops in the fall. That would explain why I’ve found dozens of these over the last few days, dashing my hopes that this beetle was something special. In fact, this beetle is so widespread it’s pretty much anything but special! Regardless, I’m going to enjoy these beetles, the bees that I frequently find with them, and every wonderful thing about spring that I can. Can you tell I’m a wee bit excited about spring? :)
I leave you with this lovely beetle butt:
Have a great weekend everyone!