Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Insects - Beetle

I thought I would post about some insects I have shot in my garden yesterday. Above you can see a hoverfly at the radish flower. Over that last few days I have really started to notice a number hovering around.

I think this is my first bee in the chives shot this year.

What's this beetle and is it bad? I have tried to search but have yet to identify them. I think that I have ruled out the most common bad guys: Striped potato beetle, cucumber beetle, and blister beetle. If anyone knows a good guide for beetles, please comment.

Here's what else I know or don't know about the beetles -skip this paragraph if you don't care about the beetles-. I think it could a type of "leaf beetle" (obviously that one, broad-bodied leaf beetle, is not it). It does resemble this "skeletonizing leaf beetle", but again not quite. (I don't like the sound of that name by-the-way). Finally, the closest I could get is a flea beetle on this page. My beetles seem to be bigger than flea and without the "jumping" legs. Oh well -- I was really looking see if they we good or bad in general. All the alternatives I could find are bad.

Some flying insect...

A damsel. I started noticing these last week I think. It seems right around pool season here they come out. I am reminded of a post by Amanda at "Cooking in someone else's kitchen" that mentioned the difference between damsels and dragonflies.

Oh, and a flower that was not quite out of bud on bloom day. Update: I think this is a Spurred Snapdragon ("Linaria maroccana"). You can just see the spur pointing back.

Spurred Snapdragon (Linaria maroccana)


chey said...

Great shots Chris! Love the hovering hoverfly captures. Don't know your beetle, but hope it's a good guy, cause looks like you'll be having more:).

ChrisND said...

Thanks Chey. Would you believe I was actually trying to get shots when it landed -- these turned out nice though.

Yeah those beetles are persistent. I already caught them once and banished them to behind the garage and they (or others) made it back the next day. I don't really want to "off" them if they're not bad.

Anonymous said...

I like your insect shots. The radish and chive flowers are pretty. What is the name of that last flower? (the one that didn't open for bloom day) That is stunning magenta bloom!

Amanda said...

Thanks for the mention Chris! Funnily enough, I've got a similar (but not identical) set of stripy leaf beetles in my garden (engaged in similar activities) and I've had no luck identifying them either.

ChrisND said...

Perennial: I'm not so good at the flower id stuff yet... My excuse on this one is that it's from a wildflower mix - maybe reseeded from last year.

Amanda: No problem. Funny how you start to see things after you read somewhere else about them. I'm okay with the insects as long as I don't see much damage in garden.

Cinj said...

Neat shots. I'm not good at identifying bugs, but I asked at what'sthatbug about my spider. Maybe they'd be able to help you figure out the name of your mystery beetle?

ChrisND said...

Thanks Cinj. I went to whatsthatbug and looked at the beetle pictures and I think I found it... It matches and image they called a Disonycha Leaf Beetle (flea beetle). That image matches mine, I found others on bugguide.net. I haven't spotted them again and don't see any damage in the garden -- maybe the blackbirds got 'em.

If only they were a type of striped lady beetle, called Paranaemia vittigera. I spotted those on whatsthatbug as well. Not that I want the blackbirds to eat my lady beetles!

ChrisND said...

I know what the flower is that Perennial Gardener asked about. They are Spurred Snapdragon (Linaria maroccana).

Cheryl said...

Hi Chris...thanks for dropping by my blog. Lovely post, nice to meet another bug lover.
Can't help you with the beetle. I am not familiar with them, in your part of the world.
Have fun bug hunting.

Q said...

Dear Chris,
Love all your bug pictures. I looked in my bug field guide, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, and found your mating Leaf Beetles. They have them listed as "Disonycha". Very prety bugs. My books says they feed on "weeds." Now that I know that I will think of my weeds as food for the Disonycha!
Happy bug hunting.

ChrisND said...

Cheryl: Thanks, hunting for bugs seems to give a whole other perspective on the garden.

Q (Sherry): Then it's confirmed those were Disonycha beetles. Glad to hear they eat weeds! Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the interesting information