Friday Beetle Blogging: Pelidnota Grapevine Beetle

Pelidnota punctata - Grapevine Beetle

Champaign, Illinois

Here it is: the first insect I've photographed since moving to Illinois last week.  I've been posting a lot of scarab beetles recently, but can you blame me?  They're so pretty.

photo details: Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens on a Canon 20D

ISO 100, f/11, 1/200 sec, indirect strobe in white box.

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The only scarbs I'm seeing on grape vines around here are Japanese beetles! Most of the older leaves of virtually every wild grape vine have been skeletonized. These beetles arrived several years ago, and have really exploded during the last three summers.

The beetle is pretty but I'm waiting for that magic picture of a Polyergus raid from your (our) area. Three species are relatively common in parts of Illinois.

By James C. Trager (not verified) on 15 Aug 2008 #permalink

Aydin- I was just reading about the color variation in this species on Super cool to see it illustrated between our two posts. Apparently I have the "northern" form.

You moved to Illinois? No longer at U of AZ?

Hope you're with the IL Natural History Survey group there--they are fabulous. :)

and lovely photo!

Yep, the raids are normally "scheduled" between 17:30 and 19:00 down here, perhaps a little bit earlier up there. Having said this, I just saw a uniquely early P. lucidus raid the other day -- at 12:30!

By James C. Trager (not verified) on 16 Aug 2008 #permalink

Bug Girl-

It's kind of a long story why I am not at the natural history survey. I had fully intended to be six months ago. However, I've instead landed a great postdoc in the entomology department at UI, which is also a first-rate institution.