Rural Life

Beetle Trivia

Hunters bug

I thought that all of you bug nerds would jump on my July 30th “Name another bug” post, but nary a guess from anyone!

I trolled the internet and came up with a suggestion of my own: the Asian long-horned beetle — an invasive species which looks like this:

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But then I consulted my entomology contact (doesn’t everyone have one of those?)

And my source quickly identified the bug in question.

It is not an Asian long-horn.

It’s an eyed click beetle (aka, Eastern-Eyed Click Beetle or Alaus oculatus).

This particular species is found all along the Eastern seaboard and the “click” comes from the sound the beetle makes when it snaps its back, flipping itself upright.

As for the eyes? They’re nothing but spots intended to look like eyes… to make the beetle appear larger and more threatening to potential predators.

There you go — more bug trivia, just for you!

PS: Thanks, Hunter. Keep those beetle pictures coming.

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Name another bug…

 

Yes, it’s time for another installment of “name that bug.”

I thought that this would be a one- or two-time topic, but my friend Hunter forwarded this photo about a month ago. (She also gets credit for the sherbet colored moth, called a Rosy Maple, featured on the blog here.)

You all were quick on the trigger with the male Dobsonfly. (Pictured here.)

Let’s see how you do with this one:

Hunters bug

Summertime

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Summer is officially here.

I say this, not because of the heat and humidity. And not because of the summer solstice.

We officially launched the season with our annual tradition: mowing over a garden hose.

Each summer our riding mower claims a few casualties. Most recently, Martin ushered in summer by slashing the hose we use to fill the sheep trough.  

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If previous performance is any indicator, Martin tends to hack up the hoses, the kids’ toys and the dog’s tennis balls. Typically when he mows, you can expect a slew of plastic shrapnel sprayed across the yard.

But I’ve got a rap sheet, too. Not only have I killed a few hoses, but I’ve also mowed over the metal jump cups that hold the horse jumps together. I haphazardly toss the cups on the ground in the riding ring. Once the grass sprouts to calf height, the jump cups are lost in a sea of wavy green… until the mower finds them, and emits a horrible, teeth-rattling screech.

That’s when I raise the blade and make a bee-line for the house. There, I announce to Martin: “Something’s wrong with the lawn mower.”

As if the malfunction is a mystery.

Martin tips the machine on its side and studies the underbelly. “You bent the blade. How did you bend the blade?”

I feign innocence, ignorance, confusion. And later that evening, I sneak down to the ring to retrieve the mangled, metal evidence.

So now you know: Martin hacked a hose to ribbons.That means you can throw some dogs on the grill or head for the pool. It’s summertime.

And you know what else that means?

It’s almost time to put away the sleds, saucers and the Christmas tree stand.

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