Scarab Grub Locomotion (Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday)

Hey everyone!  Long time no see again – been really busy at work and long hours have been preventing my blogging.  However, wanted to share this video I took last weekend after my coworker brought in a scarab beetle larva she found outside.  I set it on my desk, turned my back on it for a minute, and when I went back to take a closer look it was gone!  We looked around for it and found it speeding across the floor like this:

It’s crawling UPSIDE DOWN!!!  Super crazy cool.  Our hypothesis: it’s so huge and fat that the little legs aren’t strong enough to drag that massive body along, so it uses this “backstroke” sort of approach instead.

Yep, nature is cool.  And a little gross.  But mostly cool.

Going to try to get a post up on Friday!!  I have a huge backlog of stuff I want to post, so here’s hoping I’ll have a chance to get one of them online this week…

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth
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Friday 5: 5 Views of Euphoria

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:

Bumble flower beetle

Bumble flower beetle, Euphoria inda, front view

… 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:

Bumble flower beetle, Euphoria nigra.

Bumble flower beetle, Euphoria inda, ventral view

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!

Bumble flower beetle, Euphoria nigra.

Bumble flower beetle, Euphoria inda, side view

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:

Bumble flower beetle

Bumble flower beetle, Euphoria inda, 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:

Bumble flower beetle

Bumble flower beetle, Euphoria inda, running away

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth