Friday Beetle Blogging: Scared of a Beetle’s Bottom?

By the end of the week we bug bloggers are so discombobulated we can’t keep straight what insects we’re supposed to be writing about.

As you know, I sometimes stray from ants and post the occasional Friday beetle. Now fly guy Morgan Jackson has taken up Friday Ant Blogging, and coleopterist Ted MacRae is taking advantage of Morgan’s wanderings to claim flies for the Beetles in the Bush blog. It’s a little blog triangle. Which you probably should just stay as far away from as possible, as all of us are outside our areas of expertise and might just be making stuff up.

So. Beetles.

Here’s one that deceives with its rear:

Trichiotinus sp. flower scarab

Trichiotinus is a scarab beetle with fake eyes colored into the exposed tip of its abdomen. It sits in flowers with its hind legs held in the same position as wasp forelegs, looking like it just might leap out and sting. Presumably the false face confers protection from predators who don’t check their prey carefully.

On finding this beetle at Allerton Park last weekend I recognized it immediately. Insect legend Tom Eisner included a photo of Trichiotinus in For Love of Insects, a volume I regard as perhaps the most engaging insect book ever written.

From above, would you ever guess this beetle has a butt-face?

Photo details:
Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D
ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, diffuse twin flash

4 thoughts on “Friday Beetle Blogging: Scared of a Beetle’s Bottom?”

  1. I’m not sure how something so obvious escaped my notice all these years – those are definitely fake eye spots.

    Species is probably either T. affinis or T. assimilis.

  2. In regards to staying clear of all these blogs, I am afraid it is too late for me — I am fearfully caught in a sticky trap…oh, maybe that’s a spider thing…

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