Order Coleoptera ( Beetles) in the Christopher B. Smith Preserve
Order Coleoptera Characteristics: Beetles are the most diverse of all Earth's organisms. One-fifth of all living species, including plants, are beetles, and one-fourth of all animal species are beetles. There are more than 24,000 beetle species in 113 families just in the United States and Canada.
Beetles have complete metamorphosis (egg, larva, pupa, adult). All beetle larvae and adults have chewing mouth parts. Most adults have two pairs of wings with their first pair (the elytrons) hardened into stiff plates. When resting, a beetle holds its elytrons over its second pair of wings and abdomen.
Interactions in the Smith Preserve: Because beetles are found in almost every type of habitat, they have many interactions with other organisms. Some eat foliage, while others bore into wood and fruit, tunnel inside of leaves, or attack plant roots. In addition, some beetles are vectors of fungal, viral, and bacterial pathogens that kill plants. Some beetles pollinate plants, while others are predators that keep insect populations in check. Some beetles are scavengers that decompose scat and dead organisms, and recycle the nutrients. Some beetles dig burrows, and in so doing, mix soil. All types of beetles are prey for predators and hosts for parasites. The Smith Preserve would be very different without the beetles.
Family Species Name Common Name Attelabidae Attelabus nigripes Attelabidae Unknown Carabidae Apenes sinuata Carabidae Pasimacus sublaevis Carabidae Selenophorus fossulatus Cerambycidae Zagymnus clerinus Chrysomelidae Acanthoscelides helianthemum Chrysomelidae Acanthoscelides sp. Chrysomelidae Altica chalybea Chrysomelidae Altica spp. Chrysomelidae Anomoea laticlavia Chrysomelidae Chalepus bicolor ? Chrysomelidae Chrysomela scripta Chrysomelidae Diachus sp. Chrysomelidae Galerucella nymphaea Chrysomelidae Griburius larvatus Chrysomelidae Lilioceris cheni Chrysomelidae Neolochmaea dilatipennis Chrysomelidae Unknown Coccinellidae Unknown Coccinellidae Brachiacantha dentipes Coccinellidae Chilocorus stigma Coccinellidae Coelophora inaequalis Coccinellidae Cycloneda sanguinea Coccinellidae Diomus roseicollis Coccinellidae Exochomus sp. Coccinellidae Exochomus childreni childreni Coccinellidae Harmonia axyridis Coccinellidae ? Unknown Curculionidae Baris sp. Curculionidae Cophes oblongus Curculionidae Hypothenemus sp. Curculionidae Hypothenemus sp. Curculionidae Myllocerus undatus Curculionidae Neoptochus adspersus Curculionidae Notolomus basalis Curculionidae Paragraphus setosus Curculionidae Stenancylus colombi Curculionidae Tanymecus lacaena Dermestidae Dermestes maculatus Elateridae Anchastus fumicollis Elateridae Cardiophorus convexus Elateridae Unknown Elateridae Melanotus sp. Erotylidae Loberus sp. Gyrinidae Dineutus sp. Histeridae Unknown Meloidae Nemognatha spp. Mordellidae Mordellina pustulata Nitidulidae Carpophilus pallipennis Phalacridae Stilbus sp. ? Scarabaeidae Diplotaxis bidentata Scarabaeidae Euphoria sepulcralis Scarabaeidae Strategus antaeus Scarabaeidae Strigoderma pygmaea Scarabaeidae Tomarus sp. Scarabaeidae Trichiotinus sp. Staphylinidae Creophilus maxillosus Staphylinidae Dalmosanus steevesi Staphylinidae Euconnus subgenus Napoconnus Staphylinidae Unknown Tenebrionidae Blapstinus metallicus Tenebrionidae Epitragodes tomentosus Tenebrionidae Gondwanocrypticus obsoletus Tenebrionidae (Possibly) Unknown Zopheridae Pycnomerus thrinax Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Attelabus nigripes ... Leaf - Rolling Weevil
In North America, there are 50 species of leaf rolling weevils (Family Attelabidae). A female in this family typically cuts and folds a single leaf into a "nidus", and lays an egg inside. That process is repeated over and over. The nidus acts as an incubator where each egg hatches, and the emerging larva eats and grows. Larvae pupate in the soil.
Attelabus nigripes (3 to 4 mm long) is found on poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) and sumac in the eastern U.S. On March 22, 2014, the individual shown here was found crawling on the top of a hat worn by the photographer as she exited the Smith Preserve. On that same day, identification was verified from these photographs by "V. belov," a Contributing Editor of <buggide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Entomology Department.
Unknown Species ... Leaf - Rolling Weevil
There are five genera and seven species of attelabids in North America. All roll leaf tips into structures called nidi. A nidus is a nest into which one or more eggs is laid. It takes a weevil about two hours to construct a nidus by cutting notches in the leaf, straddling the midrib, and using its powerful legs to fold the leaf in half, gradually working toward the tip of the leaf.
The nidi in these photographs were found on Quercus geminata (Sand Live Oak). After the egg is laid in a nidus, it hatches into a larvae. The larvae in the second photograph was obtained by unrolling a nidus. The immature weevil's head with its tiny eye spots and dark mandibles are in the center of the image, facing the camera.
Often the nidus is dropped from the tree and the pupa develops inside the nidus on the ground.
There are several parasites of the leaf-rolling weevil in the nidus. One is shown below: a braconid wasp. The female wasp shown in the photograph is likely laying its egg into the nidus. When the braconid larvae hatches from the egg, it will feed on the developing weevil.
Apenes sinuata ... Ground Beetle
This beetle was collected in leaf litter from the northeast hammock at the Smith Preserve on December 17, 2014. It was removed from the leaf litter with a Berlese funnel.
On December 26, 2014, it was identified from these photographs by "v belov,", Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, hosted by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.
Apenes sinuata is in Subfamily Harpalinae of the Ground Beetle Family. This is the largest of the carabid subfamilies with ~6,400 species found worldwide.
This species is typically 6.5 to 7 mm long. However, this particular individual was smaller (5.5 mm long).
Apenes sinuata has an elongate-oval shape. The head and thorax are glossy black. The elytra are dark brown or black with finely punctured striae. Antennae and legs are reddish brown. The thorax is 1/3 wider than long, has many punctations (tiny depressions), and is lobed at the base. The sides of the thorax are curved and curled up along the edge. As seen in the photograph below, when observed from the side, the contour of the insect is quite flat.
Online sources state that the species is typically found in woodlands near the base of trees and stumps.
Pasimachus sublaevis ... Moderately Smooth Warrior Beetle
A Moderately Smooth Warrior Beetle is active both day and night. It is a solitary predator of caterpillars and other larval insects. As shown in these photographs, it has huge jaws.
Also visible in these photographs, its elytra (hardened forewings) are fused into a rigid shell. This makes flying impossible. Movement is limited to walking, running, and burrowing.
Adults live on dry, sandy substrate in slightly shaded areas and below ground in burrows they create. The individual in these photographs was found at the bottom of a burrow under leaf litter. There was a visible hole at the top of the burrow; the beetle was extracted from its burrow with a trowel. As shown in the photograph at right, after it was released, it began rapidly constructing a new burrow.
The first photograph below shows a close-up of the beetle's head, including the antennae, jaws, and eyes. The second photograph shows the elytra with its pitted surface.
Selenophorus fossulatus. ... Unknown Common Name
This tiny carabid beetle was scurrying along the lichen-covered sand on December 4, 2013. It was identified as Selenophorus sp. by "v belov", Contributing Editor of <bugguide.net>, hosted by Iowa State University Entomology Department within minutes of these photographs being posted on <bugguide.net>. On December 6th it was identified as Selenophorus palliatus by Peter Messer, Contributing Editor. However, its size (measured on the run at 2 mm) did not fit with that described species.
Another specimen was captured on December 17th. It was preserved and measured at 5.5-6 mm long. That specimen was sent to Peter Messer on December 27 for further identification. On December 31, 2013, Messer identified it as Selenophorus fossulatus Dejean, 1829. Messer stated, "S. fossulatus superficially appears like a small "S. palliatus" which occurs in AL, FL, GA, MS, NC according to Bousquet (2012). Messer stated that this specimen is new to BugGuide and to Messer's reference collection.
As can be seen from these photographs, Selenophorus fossulatus has large, bulbous eyes and the elytra (wing cases) have rows of punctations.
Zagymnus clerinus ... Longhorn Beetle
On April 30, 2015, this beetle was crawling on a second floor porch outside a science laboratory door of the Eva Sugden Gomez Environmental Planning Center at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Since the door is ~10 m from the eastern edge of the Smith Preserve, it is presumed that the beetle came from the Preserve.
The beetle was identified by the webmaster, and on July 23, 2015, its identification was confirmed by Brady Richards, Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.
Zagymnus clerinus is known to live in Georgia, Florida, and Cuba.
Its host is Sabal palmetto (Cabbage Palm). Females lay their eggs under the bark or in cracks of the trees. Larvae are wood-boring beetles, called round-headed wood borers. Adults are 13 to 17 mm long.
Note: the compound eyes of this adult are notched, the body is covered in many punctations (tiny depressions), and this specimen has very distinctive coloration.
Acanthoscelides helianthemum ... Bean Weevil
On March 18, 2015, this 1.5 mm long beetle was on a flower of Helianthemum nashii (Nash's Rock Rose) in the oak/rosemary scrub of the Smith Preserve. It was captured, preserved in ethanol, and photographed using photomicroscopy.
On March 18, 2015, it was identified from these photographs by "v belov", Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.
The species was first described in 1969 by L. J. Bottimer, Entomology Research Institute, Canada Department of Agriculture, Ottawa.
Typically this species size range is 1.4 to 1.7 mm. The geographic range includes North Carolina and Florida. This individual was a new species for the <BugGuide> online guide.
Acanthoscelides sp. ... Bean Weevil
This beetle was ~1 mm in length, and appeared to be chewing pollen on a flower when it was spotted in the Smith Preserve. These photographs were taken on March 22, 2014.
The beetle was identified from these photographs on December 9, 2014 by v belov, Contributing Editor of <Bugguide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.
There are 16 species of Acanthoscelides in Florida. Acanthoscelides spp. have large, protruding eyes. Elytra are about twice as long as wide, and elytra are short, not reaching the tip of the abdomen.
Most species in the genus feed on legumes. Adults deposit eggs on legume seeds; larvae chew into the seeds. Before pupating, a larva chews an exit hole, returns to feed inside the seed, and pupates. As an adult, it exits the seed.
Altica chalybea ... Grape Flea Beetles
In spring, adult grape flea beetles feed on the buds of several species of wild and commercial Vitis spp. (Grapes) and Parthenocissus quinequefolia (Virginia Creeper). In the United States and Canada, adult damage to grape plants is known to cause economic loss in the commercial grape industry.
Adults are dark blue or bluish-purple, 3 to 5 mm long, oval-shaped, and shiny. They have enlarged hind legs for jumping. Adults probably spend cooler months under the soil surface and in crevices in wood near grape plants. They emerge in spring and feed on grape buds for 1 to 2 weeks. Females mate and lay yellow to orange eggs singly, or in clusters of up to 5 eggs on buds and in bark crevices.
Larvae feed on leaves. On April 14, 2014, grape flea beetle larvae were found devouring leaves of Vitis rotundifolia (Muscadine Grape) in the Smith Preserve.
Later, these larvae will pupate just under soil litter. Adults will emerge in late July and August and feed on leaves. They will not mate or lay eggs until the next spring.
Altica spp. ... Flea Beetles
Altica is a large beetle genus of about 300 species. As shown in the first photograph, this genus includes tiny beetles. However, despite the size, in large numbers flea beetles do great damage to plants.
Most Altica spp. are dark colored and many are metallic, like the one shown in the first three photographs, and the second individual shown in photographs four and five.
The common name, "Flea Beetle" is appropriate because of the ability to jump vertically when disturbed. This athletic feat is possible because of the large hind legs.
Female flea beetles lay eggs in soil at the base of host plants. Upon hatching, the larvae feed on roots and root hairs for about a month. Then they pupate in the soil. In a year's time, multiple generations of flea beetles probably live in Southern Florida.
The individual below appears to be a different species from the one above. It was on Ludwigia decurrens (Winged-Primrose / Willow Primrose) and may be Altica litigata (Primrose Flea Beetle.) If it is A. litigata, its natural enemies include big-eyed bugs, green lacewing larvae, damsel bugs and crickets.
Shown here is an additional Altica sp., similar in size to the ones above, but not blue.
Note the damage this individual has done to the edge of this leaf. Flea beetle damage includes numerous small holes in leaves, stunted or wilted seedlings, and blemished or pimpled root crops.
Species of Altica differ in the plants they eat. The two metallic flea beetles above and the black/bronze one shown here were all eating different plants in the Smith Preserve.
A few plants damaged by flea beetles are important crops (including, but not limited to): corn, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, and carrots. Flea beetles feed on weeds when garden crops are unavailable.Return to top
Anomoea laticlavia ... Clay-Colored Leaf Beetle
On April 22, 2014, this adult beetle was identified from these photographs by "v. belov", Contributing Editor of <Bugguide.net>, hosted by Iowa State University Entomology Department.
Adult clay-colored leaf beetles range in size from 6 to 9 mm. The amount of black on the carapace is variable.
The larval stage of this beetle develops inside a case made of fecal material and plant debris. It lives in litter on the soil surface or on leaves of the host.
Adults feed on a variety of plants including Quercus (Oaks) and Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed). This individual was on Callicarpa americana (American Beautyberry). When disturbed, it withdrew its legs and fell to the ground.
Chalepus bicolor ?... Hispine Beetle
On December 8, 2014, this 5 mm long beetle was collected in a sweep net sample taken in tall grasses in the southwest edge of the dry seasonal marsh in the Smith Preserve.
From these photographs, the individual was identified as a member of Tribe Chalepini of Family Chrysomelidae. On December 12, 2014, Charley Eiseman, a Contributing Editor of <Bugguide.net>, stated it may be Chalepus bicolor. Further review by scientists at <Bugguide.net> will be done.
Generally, larvae of Tribe Chalepini mine leaves of the same plant fed upon by adults. Larval leaf mining beetles are flattened to fit between the upper and lower surfaces of leaves. As shown in these photographs, adults are also flattened.
Chrysomela scripta ... Cottonwood Leaf Beetle
On March 4, 2015, several of these beetles were feeding on the leaves of a Salix caroliniana (Carolina Willow) tree, that is growing next to the Smith Preserve pond. The common name of this beetle, Cottonwood Leaf Beetle, originated from the fact that Populus deltoides (Cottonwood) is its primary host.
Adults are ~ 6 mm long with a black head and thorax. The margins of the thorax are yellow or red. As can be seen in these photographs, the elytra (first pair of wings) are yellow with broken black stripes. The species name "scripta" means "written over" and may describe the markings on the elytra.
Males are usually much smaller than females. As can be seen in the 2nd and 3rd images, besides eating, many of the beetles were mating.
After mating, females lay clusters of 25 or more yellow eggs on the bottom of leaves.
A young larva is black and becomes light to dark brown with white scent glands spots along its body. The scent glands emit a pungent odor for defence against predators.
Predators include some species of stink bugs and lady beetles, as well as ants, spiders, and parasitic wasps.
Diachus sp. ... Bronze Leaf Beetle
As shown in the third photograph, this tiny scarab measures less than 2 mm in length. It belongs to Subfamily Cryptocephalinae (The Case-Bearing Leaf Beetles).
Cryptocephalinae literally translates to "hidden head" and refers to the fact that larvae in this subfamily live in cases.
When a mother Diachus sp. lays her eggs, she covers them with a layer of her excrement. Then when a larva hatches, it retains the fecal cover and adds to it during its larval life. The hard case protects it from predation because when disturbed, the larva pulls in its legs. The dark color and shape of the case resembles caterpillar droppings and it is ignored by predators.
The adult shown in these photographs was on Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed).
On September 5, 2013, this individual was identified from these photographs as Diachus sp. by Blaine Mathison, Contributing Editor of <bugguide.net>, hosted by Iowa State University Entomology.
Galerucella nymphaeae ... Water Lily Beetle
On April 9, 2015, this 3.5 mm beetle was photographed sitting on top of a Nuphar advena (Spadderdock) leaf of a plant growing in the Smith Preserve Pond. The webmaster identified it as a Galerucella sp. beetle.
It was confirmed on April 12, 2015 from these photographs as belonging to Family Chrysomelidae, Subfamily Galerucinae, and Tribe Galerucini by Margarethe Brummermann, Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology. On May 16, 2015, v belov, another Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net> identified the species.
Members of Subfamily Galerucinae skeletonize leaves.
Griburius larvatus ... Leaf Beetle
Griburius larvatus is a small leaf beetle, ranging in size from about 4.3 to 5.6 mm. “Larvus” is Latin for ghost or spectre.
The elytra (hardened forewing) has several patterns, ranging from nearly absent of markings to being heavily marked. In those that are marked, like these individuals photographed in the Smith Preserve, the anterior elytra marks, farthest from the middle of the insect, nearly touch the edges of the thorax, and an elongated black medial spot extends along the elytra.
A male and female are shown in the second and third photographs. Note: Only one of these individuals has black markings on its thorax and these spots have an angular shape. The abdomen of each beetle is yellow, with a median dark spot.
Griburius larvatus beetles live in Georgia and Florida. Their host plants include members of Ericaceae (The Heather Family), Fabaceae (The Legume/ Pea/ Bean Family), and Malcaveae (The Mallow Family).
Lilioceris cheni ... Air Potato Leaf Beetle
On November 6. 2015, many leaves of Discorea bulbifera (Air potato), growing in the Smith Preserve were shown to be riddled with holes. Lilioceris cheni was found to be feeding on one of the leaves.
The air potato is an invasive species found throughout Florida. The beetle, also from Asia, was introduced in 2012 to help control the spread of this plant.
Adult air potato leaf beetles are about .95 cm long and .48 cm wide. As shown in these photographs, the beetle's wings are red. The head, thorax, abdomen and legs are red.
Females lay approximately 1800 eggs on the bottom of leaves. These eggs are white. Eggs hatch in 4 days. Very young larva are yellow to red, turning gray to red as they mature. A full grown larvae pupates in the soil, forming a cocoon. Adults emerge from cocoons in 12 to 16 days and live five or more months. An entire generation takes 30 days.
Both adults and larva feed only on the vegetation of air potatoes. By feeding on the growing tips of the vines, vines cannot grow, and both plant growth and plant reproduction are compromised.
Neilochmea dilatipennis ... Leaf Beetle
Neolochmaea dilatipennis is a non-native beetle that was first discovered in Florida near Miami in 1975. It is native to the Caribbean and South America and is a member of Family Chrysomelidae (The Leaf Beetles). Most members of this family feed on leaves.
This beetle feeds on the Florida endemic plant Borreria terminalis aka Spermacoce terminalis (Everglades False Buttonweed) and on a native coastal beach creeper species of special concern, Ernodia littoralis.
The individual shown in these photographs was approximately 15 mm in length and was found crawling on the slacks of the photographer as she was walking along the edge the Smith Preserve's filter marsh.
Unknown Species ... Leaf Beetle
On December 30, 2015, this 8 mm long beetle larva was collected with a sweep net used in low brush growing along the western gopher tortoise fence, just north of Smith Preserve Way.
These dorsal, ventral, and lateral views of the larva were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.
On January 11, 2016, the larva was identified as a member of Family Chrysomelidae by Blaine Mathison, a Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>.Family Chrysomelidae is a large beetle family with ~35,000 described species worldwide. They are phytophagous (feeding on plants). Adults feed on leaves and various flower parts including pollen. Depending on the species, larval chrysomelids feed on leaves, attack roots, or eat underground stems.
Unknown Species ... Lady Beetle Eggs
This cluster of lady beetle eggs were found on the leaf of Indigofera hirsuta (Hairy Indigo) adjacent to the filter marsh. The beetle species has not been identified.
Brachiacantha dentipes ... Lady Beetle
Several tiny Brachiacantha dentipes beetles have been photographed crawling on Eupatorium capillifolium (Dog Fennel.) The third photograph was taken of an individual that flew onto slacks being worn by the photographer.
As shown in the photograph at left, Brachiacantha dentipes has a long prominent foreleg spur on its front tibia. This distinctive structure gave rise to its species name dentipes which was adapted from the Latin words denti, meaning"tooth," and pes meaning "foot." All species of Brachiacantha have foreleg spurs, but most spurs are shorter.
Brachiacantha dentipes is small (4.75 to 6.3 mm), but it is one of the largest species of the genus Brachiacantha. Its food source is unknown for sure, but possibly scale insects.
Its range is New England and southeastern Canada to Florida, and west to the Rocky Mountains.
Chilocorus stigma ... Twice-Stabbed Lady Beetle
Chilocorus stigma is native to the United States and Canada but does not live west of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Individuals are usually found eating aphids, scales, and mealy bugs that live on vegetation. These photographs show two of the four stages of the twice-stabbed lady beetle's life: pupa and adult. All photographs were taken on Sabal palmetto (Cabbage Palm). The adult was eating scales. The larval stage, not shown, is black or grey and spiny in appearance like the pupa. Unlike the pupa, the larva has legs which allow it to have greater mobility.
As shown in the second photograph, each elytron of an adult is shiny black with a large red spot in the center. Adults average 3.75 to 5.0 mm in length. The body is completely black except for its yellow or red abdomen.
There can be several generations of these beetles each year in southern Florida. Individuals live in ground litter during the colder months. Because they eat pests that are destructive to orchards and citrus groves, Chilocorus stigma is considered a beneficial insect.
Coelophora inaequalis ...
Variable Ladybird / Common Australian Lady Beetle
Coelophora inaequalis is a non-native ladybird species. It is endemic to Australia, Oceania and Southern Asia. All members of the species are bright orange with a black center line where the wings meet. But there are four variations of black dot patterns on the elytra. It is this variation in dot pattern that gives the beetle its common name, the "Variable Ladybird".
The variable ladybird was introduced to Florida and Hawaii as a biological control for Sipha flava (Yellow Sugarcane Aphid.)
The individual shown in these photographs was on a frond of Acrostichum daneifolium (Leather Fern) at the Smith Preserve filter marsh. In the first photograph, an aphid is crawling up the leaf behind the beetle, probably trying to escape being eaten. The last photograph shows this beetle is approximately 4 mm long.
Cycloneda sanguinea ... Spotless Ladybird Beetle
Cycloneda sanguinea is native to Florida and is the most widespread ladybird beetle in Latin America. Its range is from the southern United States to Argentina. There are three species of Cycloneda in North American. They can be distinguished by geographical range and details of the pronotum. The pronotum is the region of dorsal plates on the forward-most segment of the thorax. Of the three members of the genus, Cycloneda sanguinea is the only one found in the eastern US with white lateral "C" shaped markings on its black pronotum and a separated white "eyespot".
Spotless ladybird beetles feed on aphids, and although aphids produce poisons that affect other predators (like birds), these poisons do not affect ladybird beetles. In the photograph at right, a spotless ladybird beetle larva is feasting on aphids that are infesting Muhlenbergia capillaris (Muhly Grass.)
Diomus roseicollis ... Red-Collared Lady Beetle
On March 25, 2015, this 1.4 mm long beetle was found on Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed). These photographs were created using photomicroscopy.
On March 26, 2015, the beetle was identified from these photographs by Michael C. Thomas, Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.
Little is known about what this lady bug eats, possibly aphids, mealybugs, and/or scales. Its primary range is in Southern Florida along coastal areas. The species name "roseicollis" means "red collar" in Latin. This refers to the reddish-yellow pronotum.
Exochomus sp. ... Lady Beetle
Nine species of Exochomus live in the United States. Two of the species were introduced.
This prepupal stage of a beetle was identified from this photograph on September 6, 2013 by Abigail M. Parker, a contributing editor of <bugguide.net>, hosted by Iowa State University Entomology. Parker stated that the species is either Exochomus marginipennis (Margined Lady Beetle) or Exochomus childreni childreni (Children's Lady Beetle).
The prepupa becomes a pupa, attached to a leaf in a stiff, curved position. Adult beetles are 2.2 to 4.8 mm long.
This lady beetle was on Urena lobata (Caesar Weed) on April 24, 2013.
Exochomus childreni childreni ... Children's Lady Beetle
Exochomus childreni childreni is a small beetle (about 3 cm), as shown in the second photograph.
Look closely and you can see that this beetle's carapace has a dark red marginal edge.
The first photograph shows the beetle with its black head on the right. The second shows the posterior end of the beetle, with its head not visible.
This beetle was identified on September 12, 2013 from these photographs by Abigail M. Parker, a contributing editor of <bugguide.net>, hosted by Iowa State University Entomology. She stated, "E. marginipennis is very similar, but a few things are pointing me at E. childreni childreni: highly convex shape, not elongated; fine elytral punctation; and the precise shape of the apical spots and the thick dark apical suture. Also, most specimens of E. marginipennis have at least a narrow pale area on the pronotum, even the females, while the pronotum here is entirely black. Any one or two of those wouldn't clinch the ID for me, but all of them together add up to the uncommon 4-spotted form of E. c. childreni."
Exochomus childreni childreni eats aphids and scale insects. The specimen shown here was on the seed pod of Urena lobata (Caesar Weed) on November 21, 2012.
Harmonia axyridis ... Asian Multicolored Lady Beetle
Harmonia axyridis is a large, arboreal (tree-dwelling) member of Family Coccinellidae. This beetle's color ranges from yellow-orange to black. The number of spots ranges from 0 to 22. There is always a "M" or "W" (depending on how it is viewed) marking on its pronotum, and most individuals have brown or reddish legs. In the first three photographs, two individuals are shown. Compare the colors, number of spots, and markings on the pronotum.
Harmonia axyridis is a predator of aphids and scale insects. Since 1916 this species has been repeatedly introduced to the United States as a biological control. In addition, there have been accidental introductions. Presently, these beetles are widespread throughout the United States and may be displacing native lady beetles.
The photograph at left shows two beetles mating on December 23, 2013 in the Smith Preserve. They use pheromones to attract each other.
In colder regions, large numbers gather in the Autumn and hibernate together inside man-made structures like houses. Individuals produce an odor and occasionally bite. For these reasons, this species is considered a "nuisance pest."
Interestingly, the red individual above and the female in the mating pair have bumps on their wings. These indicate that these beetles have been parasitized. Common insects that parasitize beetles are braconid wasps and tachinid flies. But these particular parasites are likely a fungus, Hesperomyces virescens.
Family Coccinellidae ?
Unknown Species ... Unknown Common Name
On December 30, 2015, this 1.25 mm long beetle larva was captured in a sweep net sample obtained in low, dry vegetation growing along the northeastern gopher tortoise fence, just north of Smith Preserve Way.
These lateral, ventral, and dorsal photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>.
On February 12, 2016, the beetle was identified by Blaine Mathison, a Contributing Editor to <BugGuide.net>, as possibly a member of Family Coccinellidae, Subfamily Scymninae. If this is a correct identification, then this individual could possibly be the larval stage of the coccinellid shown above, Brachiacantha dentipes. However, there are many other coccineliids in Subfamily Scymninae.
Baris sp. ... Snout Beetle
On February 11, 2015, this 5 mm long snout beetle was feasting on the flower head of Ambrosia artemisifolia (Common Ragweed.) It was face down in the flower with its body partially buried. It was removed and photographed using a microscope.
On February 11, 2015, it was identified from the photographs at right and below by "v belov", Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.
The genus name "Baris" refers to a type of boat of Egyptian origin and describes this beetles oblong shape.
The face is elongate, thin, and arched as shown in the third photograph. Antennae are short. The prothorax is wider than long. Legs are short with hooks on the ends. Members of the genus are between 3 and 5 mm in body length and usually black.
Species identification is based on morphological characteristics not easily observed in photographs.
Cophes oblongus... No Common Name
This 4 mm-long weevil was caught in a yellow bowl trap placed beneath a Pinus elliottii densa (Southern Florida Slash Pine) tree in the middle of the Smith Preserve on April 16, 2015.
On July 6, 2015, it was identified from these photographs by "v belov", Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology, as a member of Subfamily Cryptorhynchinae.
Subfamily Cryptorhynchinae is a large group with approximately 6000 species.
Members of the subfamily have a rostrum (snout) pointed to their posterior between their fore coxae. (A coxa is the segment of a leg that connects to the thorax). The rostrum fits into a protective channel that usually ends in a cup-like structure on the ventral mid-thoracic segment. The ends of the tibiae have small hook-like extensions. (The tibia are the third segment of the leg after the coxa.)
On July 7, 2015, the species was identified from these photographs as a teneral Cophes oblongus by Robert Anderson, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net>
"Teneral" means the insect has just molted. It is still soft and the color is immature. A more mature individual would be black with many brown and gray scales irregularly intermixed.
The habitat for this species is a hammock. The species has been found in Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Cuba and the Bahamas.
Hypothenemus sp. ... Oriental Bark Beetle
This 1 mm long beetle was collected in leaf litter on December 19, 2014 under a citrus tree in the northeast hammock of the Smith Preserve. It was isolated from the litter using a Berlese funnel. These photographs were produced using photomicroscopy.
On January 12, 2014, "v belov", Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology, said that if the 1 mm measurement is correct, it might be Hypothenemus sp..
Since that measurement was made with a metric ruler under a microscope, it is accurate.
Hypothenemus spp. can be distinguished by having a 3 to 5 segmented antennae with the oval club with the first suture almost straight and only partly divided. The photograph below shows a closeup of the antenna.
Members of this genus also have erect and light colored thick bristles. Species range from .6 to 2.2 mm in length. The pronotum is usually wider than long with lateral margins with a raised line.
From all these descriptions, it appears that the photographs of this insect support the identification to this genus.
In addition, to its other characteristics, this genus is tropical and subtropical. There are 179 species worldwide. Hypothenemus areccae, H. birmanus, H. brunneus, H. californicus, H. columbi, H. javanus, H. obscurus and H. setosus are present in Florida.
Hypothenemus sp. ... Oriental Bark Beetle
On January 24, 2017, this 1.5 mm long beetle was living in leaf litter beneath a Psychotria nervosa (Shinyleaf Wild Coffee) plant and a Quercus laurifolia (Laurel Oak) tree in the eastern portion of the Smith Preserve, south of the marsh.
The beetle was removed from the litter with a Berlese Funnel, and these photographs were created by photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>.
On February 23, 2017, the genus was identified by "v belov", a Contributing Editor to <BugGuide.net>.
According to <BugGuide.net> there are 14 species in our area and ~180 worldwide. They range in size from 0.6 mm to 2.2 mm.
These "beetles infest twigs, vines, pith, seeds, and other plant material" and are "easily spread via commerce."
Note the similarities of this specimen to the one above. Both have erect, light colored bristles. Both have similar looking antennae that end with oval clubs. (Compare the 3rd photograph of the specimen above with the 4th photograph of this specimen.)
Differences: The specimen above seems to have much longer elytra than this one. Elytra are the hard outer wings covering the abdomen. In lateral view, this specimen seems more rounded, while the one above appears more flattened.
The photographs below show two different views of the antenna of this specimen. The first is a frontal view and the second is a ventral view.
Myllocerus undatus ... Little Leaf Notcher Weevil / Asian Grey Weevil
Myllocerus undatus is a non-native member of Family Curculionidae (Weevil or Snout Beetle Family). Like all members of this family, the Little Leaf Notcher Weevil has an elongated region in front of its eyes.
This weevil is whitish-grey with dark mottling on its dorsal surface. It is seven to eight mm long and has a yellowish head. All the femora are spined, as shown in the photograph below.
The Little Leaf Notcher Weevil feeds on a wide variety of host plants and has become established in the southern half of Florida. Evidence that adult beetles have been feeding are irregular patterns of notches cut along leaf margins and along veins. Larvae may cause extensive damage to the roots of host plants. The individual shown in the 1st photograph was perched on top of Chamaesyce mendezii (Mendez's Sandmat).
Neoptochus adspersus... Broad-Nosed Weevil
This 4mm-long weevil was observed feeding on a Liatris chapmanii (Chapman's Blazing Star) leaf in the scrub area of the Smith Preserve on June 18, 2015.
On July 9, 2015, the species was identified from these photographs by "v belov", Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.
According to <BugGuide.net>, normally adults range from 3.5 to 4 mm long.
According to one research paper listed in On the Biologies of the Rhynchophora of North America, this species feeds on oak. The species was first described by Carl Henrik Boheman, a Swedish entomologist in 1834.
On June 22, 2015, the 3.5 mm broad-nosed weevil shown in photographs 4-6 was collected on a Liatris chapmanii (Chapman's Blazing Star) plant.
In mid November, 2015, these 3 photographs were submitted for species identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology and to Nico Franz, Associate Professor, Curator of Insects; Director, Biodiversity Knowledge Integration Center at Arizona State University School of Life Sciences.
Dr. Franz thinks it is similar to Oedophrys hilleri. At the suggestion of Dr. Franz, these photographs were shared with the Florida State Collection of Arthropods.
On November 24, 2015, Dr. Paul Skeeley, Entomology Section Administrator of the Florida State Collection of Arthropods said "That looks like Neoptochus adspersus a widespread species in Florida, but not often collected. There is some variation in color, but the other characters match specimens on hand."
Notolomus basalis ... No Common Name
This beetle, only 2 mm in body length, was captured in a sweep net sample of a vine-covered shrub on the south berm of the pond at the Smith Preserve in November 2012. On December 18, 2014, it was identified from these photographs by Blaine Mathison, Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.
In studies reported on the internet, this species frequently hides in dead leaves or tangles of spider webs. It nibbles on the blossoms of Orange flowers, where it feeds on pollen and nectar. Its life cycle is thought to be associated with the flowers of Saw Palmetto and Cabbage Palm, Hibiscus, and other flowering plants.
Paragraphus setosus ... Broad-Nosed Weevil
On December 13, 2016, this well-camouflaged, 6 mm long, broad-nosed weevil was captured in a pitfall trap that had been placed overnight in sand and leaf litter adjacent to Chromolaena odorata (Jack-In-The-Bush). The bush is growing in the Smith Preserve near 14th Ave N and a private residence.
Note: There are many spines on the dorsal surface of this beetle's thorax and abdomen. There appear to be smaller spines on its legs.
These photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.
On January 16, 2017, this beetle was identified by "v belov", a Contributing Editor to <BugGuide.net>. According to <BugGuide.net> the range of this weevil is Central Florida. The discovery of this beetle in Naples extends its known range to include SW Florida.
Stenancylus colomboi ... No Common Name
On June 2, 2014, this weevil was identified from these photographs by Robert Anderson, Contributor to <Bugguide.net>, hosted by Iowa State University Entomology Department.
On March 22, 2014, this 3 mm long weevil was found under loose bark of Acer rubrum (Red Maple), along with many bark lice. Robert Anderson reports to <Bugguide.net> that he has also seen them on Acrostichum ferns in southern Florida.
It has also been reported in the Journal of the New York Entomological Society, "Notes on the Rhynchophora of Eastern North America, with Characterizations of New Genera and Descriptions of New Species." September 1, 1922, that this species has been collected on foliage of Conocarpus erecta (Florida Buttonwood).
Weevils in the Subfamily Cossoninae are adapted to living in the substrate. Worldwide there are about 1700 species in 300 genera in this subfamily. About 20 of the species are known as fossils; several have been found in amber.
Tamanduas lacaena ... Sweet Potato Broad-Nosed Weevil / Citrus Root Weevil
Little data can be found about the habits or life history of this weevil other than the adults are flightless, active during the day and night, and feed on a variety of plants, including several commercial crops: corn, soybeans, sweet potatoes, tobacco, beans, and citrus. Immature stages of this weevil are unknown, but are thought to live among the roots of host plants. This weevil is not considered to be a serious pest.
The individuals shown here were on Balduina angustifolia (Coastalplain Honeycombhead / Yellow Buttons) and were identified from these photographs on November 7, 2013 by v belov, Contributing Editor of <buguide.net>, hosted by Iowa University Entomology Department.
As shown in these photographs, the beak is as long as the head and flattened above. The eyes are oval. The body surface has white, grey, and brown scales.
Males are more elongate, and females are oblong to oval. The sex of the individual on the underside of the flower blossom is unknown. The individual shown below on a stem may be a female with her ovipositor extended.
As shown in the last photograph below, Tanymecus lacaena is typically 8 to 9 mm long.
Dermestes maculatus ... Hide Beetle
On April 9, 2015, many beetle larvae were found in the sand under a decomposing python snake that had been placed in the Smith Preserve.
When the carcass was lifted, the larvae scurried away and tried to quickly rebury themselves in the sand.
The Dermestes maculatus larva in photograph 1 escaped capture; the one shown in photographs 2 through 5 was captured and measured. It was13 mm long. As all of these photographs show, a Dermestes maculatus larva is covered with setae (hairs) of different lengths.
As shown in the second photograph, the ventral surface of the abdomen is yellow-brown.
As shown in the third photograph, the dorsal surface is dark brown with a yellow/yellow- brown line down the middle.
The next three photographs show the presence of two rather short, sharp, upturned structures on the last abdominal segment, called urogomphi. These structures and their upward pointing orientation were used in the identification of this beetle larva.
Adult hide beetles are black, usually hairy, and 5.5 to 10 mm long. Adults are usually found within 5 to 11 days of an animal's death and live for five to seven weeks. They, like their larvae, feed on carrion.
Anchastus fumicollis ... Click Beetle
On March 4, 2015, this 7.5 mm beetle was living in leaf litter collected in a sand live oak hammock in the middle of the Smith Preserve.
It was removed from the litter with a Berlese funnel. These photographs were created using photomicroscopy.
The photos were submitted to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology, for identification. On December 8, 2015, Blaine Mathison, a Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net> identified the species.
The genus Anchastus was first described in 1853 by LeConte. The name of the species, fumicollis, was first published in 1934.
At right is a ventral view of this insect.
Cardiophorus convexus ... Click Beetle
On April 15, 2015, this 10.5 mm (body length without genitalia) female click beetle was crawling among the developing leaves of a Liatris chapmanii plant in the oak scrub area of the Smith Preserve.
The beetle was captured, and the first three photographs were created using photomicroscopy.
On April 16, 2015, the species was identified from these photographs by Blaine Mathison, Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.
The geographic range for this species is Eastern North America. According to <BugGuide.net> the size range for this species is normally 8.5 mm to 9.5 mm, so this specimen seems rather large.
The photograph below is of another individual on a Liatris chapmannii leaf. It's length was not determined.
As with all adult click beetles, the connecton between the first and second segments of the thorax is flexible, allowing the beetle to move its head and first pair of legs separately from the rest of the body. This allows the beetle to snap the two sectons, to create a loud click sound, and to flip itself over if it is upside down.
Depending on the click beetle species, adult beetles eat nectar, pollen, flowers, and aphids. Larvae are predators of small soil animals, or they eat roots and seeds.
Unknown Species ... Click Beetle
All members of Family Elateridae are click beetles. The immature stage of click beetles are called wireworms. The wireworm shown in the photographs was discovered living in a dead log at the Smith Preserve.
As seen in these photographs, this wireworm is slender, elongate, cylindrical, and has a flattened head. As seen in the 1st photograph, the three pairs of legs on the thoracic segments are short. As seen in the 2nd photograph, the last abdominal segment is directed downwards.
Most wireworms are saprophytes, obtaining nutrients from dead organic matter, but some species are serious agricultural pests, and others are predators of the larvae of other insects. Since this individual was found inside decomposing wood, it was probably eating organic matter.
The family name, "Elateridae," is derived from the Greek word "Elater," which means "that which drives, hurls, and sets in motion" and refers to the ability of adult members of the family to hurl themselves into the air. Adult beetles propel themselves with a spine that can be snapped into a notch on their ventral surface and then released. When released, a click sound is produced, and the beetle is propelled into the air. The purpose of this motion is to avoid predation and for the beetle to right itself when it is on its back.
There are 965 species of click beetles in North America.
Melanotus sp. ... Click Beetle
On December 29, 2014, this 6-mm long click beetle larva was discovered living in leaf litter under a citrus tree in the hammock in the northeast corner of the Smith Preserve. It was isolated from the leaf litter using a Berlese funnel. These photographs were taken using photomicroscopy.
On January 28, 2015, the insect family was recognized from these photographs by Blaine Mathison, Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology. On January 30, 2015, it was identified as an early second instar of a Melanotus by Paul Johnson, SDSU.
For a general description of the family, refer to the species described above. The three photographs below show the dorsal, ventral, and lateral views of this individual.
Loberus sp. ... Pleasing Fungus Beetle
On December 8, 2014, this 2 mm long beetle was collected in a sweep net sample obtained in the dry, seasonal marsh, dominated by grasses and sedges.
On December 13, 2014, the beetle was identified from these first two photographs as Loberus sp., possibly Loberus impressus by v belov, Contributing Editor of <Bugguide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.
There are over 100 genera in Family Erotylidae worldwide. There are 4 species in Genus Loberus north of Mexico. They range from Texas to Florida and Michigan to New Jersey. Some pleasing fungus beetles feed on plant and fungal matter, some are important pollinators of cycads, and a few are pests.
If this is Loberus impressus, larvae and adults of this species are known to feed on fungus growing on the flowers and seed capsule tissue of Iris hexagonia (Blue Flag Iris). Deep pits on the gena (cheeks) of the beetle may function in transporting the fungi. The relationship between the fungus and the beetle may be mutualistic.
On December 30, 2015, the 2.5 mm long beetle shown in the next six photographs was captured in a sweep net collection, obtained in tall grasses growing along the north side of the pond in the Smith Preserve.
These photographs were created using photomicroscopy and were also sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>.
On June 26, 2016, v. belov, identified this individual as the same species as the one collected in 2014, and shown above.
Dineutus sp. ... Whirligig Beetle
Whirligig beetles are in their own family (Gyrinidae). Members of genus Dineutus range from nine to 15 mm in length. There are 41 species in this genus . In all, there are about 700 species worldwide in the family.
Whirligigs are greenish-black, flattened in shape, and have long forelegs and very short mid and hind legs. They normally live on the surface of quiet water and use surface tension of the water to stay afloat. They get their common name from their habit of swimming rapidly in circles. Although they prefer swimming, they will fly to a new water habitat if the one they are in dries up. The whirligigs in these photographs were swimming in the Smith Preserve filter marsh.
Whirligig beetles group together as a survival mechanism to help avoid predation. Placement within the group is thought to be determined by many factors including hunger, sex, water temperature, age, parasite level, and stress level. As examples, hungry beetles go to the outside of a group, as do males. Of course, this placement puts them at a greater risk from predation than others of the group.
Whirligig beetles have many adaptations that help them find food and locate and escape potential predators. Their eyes are split in half which allows them to see both above and below water. In order to dive and swim under water for a long time, each individual carries its own air supply, a bubble trapped under its abdomen. When disturbed at the surface, beetles dive to the bottom. They also protect themselves by emitting a strong scent similar to the scent of apple seeds.
They are scavengers, eating both dead plants and animals.
Unknown Species .... Clown Beetle / Hister Beetle
On December 15, 2015, this 12 mm beetle was found near the carcass of a dead python that had been placed in the Smith Preserve. These photos were sent to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology, for identification.
On December 22, 2015, the species was identified by Blaine Mathison, a Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>. He determined that the species belonged to Subfamily Saprininae.
Family Histeridae includes 3,900 species worldwide, 500 of these live in the United States.
Members have shortened elytra (hardened forewings) that leave two of the seven abdominal tergites exposed. The elytra are usually shiny black or metallic green.
As seen in these photographs, species have elbowed antennae with clubbed ends. The head of hister beetles can retract into their prothorax.
Clown beetles are predators that are most active at night. They will pretend to be dead when they feel threatened. The individual shown in these photographs was likely feeding on the eggs and larvae flies that were swarming the snake carcass. Larvae of this species also feed on the maggots.
Nemognatha spp. .... Blister Beetle
The common name, blister beetle, originates from the fact that this beetle releases a compound known as cantharidin from its joints. This substance blisters human skin. Contact with these beetles should be avoided.
The photographs shown here are of five different blister beetle individuals. They may or may not be the same species.
On September 14th, the first individual (photographs 1 and 2) and the second individual (photograph 3) were identified by David Ferguson, Contributing Editor of <bugguide.net>, hosted by Iowa State University Entomology. He stated, "not certain, but am guessing probably Nemognatha punctulata."
Note in photograph 3 the greatly elongated maxillae (mouth parts below the mandibles) that form a tube. All blister beetles have this type of tube. This is an unusual characteristic for beetles and it allows blister beetles to suck nectar.
Photographs 4 and 5 are of an individual that is probably newly eclosed (emerged from the pupa stage) and not fully colored.
Adult blister beetles feed on flowers and leaves of plants of a variety of families. The individual in photographs 1 and 2 was on Coreopsis leavenworthii (Tickseed), while the individuals in all other photographs were on Balduina angustifolia (Coastalplain Honeycombhead/ Yellow buttons.)
The two blister beetles shown in the last four photographs had black stripes along the dorsal surface of the top wings. The first of these beetles (photographs 6 and 7) was photographed on November 12, 2012. The second individual (photographs 8 and 9) was photographed on November 28, 2012. This second individual was confirmed as Nemognatha sp. on September 5, 2013 by "v belov", Contributing Editor of <bugguide.net>, hosted by Iowa State University Entomology.
The male Nemognatha sp. beetle is the one that produces cantharidin. When he mates, he transfers some of this toxin to the female. She lays her eggs on flowers and coats each egg with the toxin to protect it from egg-eating insects.( One wonders how a toxin that will create severe blisters on human skin does not hurt the skin of the blister beetle or its eggs.)
Larval blister beetles are insectivorous, mostly attacking bees. After a beetle larva hatches from its egg on a flower, it locates and attaches itself to a solitary bee that is visiting the flower. The larva rides along with the bee to the bee's nest burrow, where the beetle larva locates and parasitizes a developing bee larva.
The larvae of a few species of blister beetles eat grasshopper eggs.
Mordellina pustulata ... Tumbling Flower Beetle / Pintail Beetle
November, 2012, this 3 mm long beetle was captured with a sweep net in the Smith Preserve scrub. These photographs were submitted to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology, and a request was made for confirmation that the family was Mordellidae.
On March 16, 2016, confirmation of the family name was made by Ken Wolgemuth, a Contributing Editor to <BugGuide.net>.
According to <BugGuide.net>, there are over 200 species in 17 genera north of Mexico. Thirty-eight of these are in Florida.
As can be seen in the photographs above, members of the family have a humpbacked, wedge-shaped body. The head is bent forward and the abdomen extends beyond the elytra and is pointed. As shown in the enlargement photograph at left, hind legs are enlarged. They are used for kicking and tumbling when disturbed. Identification beyond family often requires examination of the ridges on the hind leg's tibia and tarsi.
Adult members of the family are common on flowers and foliage. Larvae are found in dead or dying hardwoods and in the pith of weeds or in bracket fungus. Depending on species, larvae eat plant materials in decaying wood, are leaf and stem miners, or are predators of young Lepidoptera and Diptera they find in plant stems.
On June 15, 2016, the species was identified by Tim R. Moyer, a Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>. According to <BugGuide.net> it is "one of the few in the genus that can be recognized at sight (after the tibial ridges have been examined.) The silvery gray pubescent spots on the elytra will, usually alone, suffice to identify it." Also according to <BugGuide.net>, larvae of this species have been reared in stems of Ambrosia trifida (Giant Ragweed) and Xanthium stumarium (Cocklebur). These two plant species have not been found at the Smith Preserve, but there are many plants of Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Common Ragweed) growing in the Preserve. Perhaps this is the food for the larval stage in the Preserve.
Carpophilus pallipennis ... Sap Beetle
As a family, nitidulids vary a great deal in size, shape, and habits.
The ones shown here living in the Smith Preserve were quite small (1 to 2mm long), elongate, and with a short elytra that exposed the terminal abdominal segments.
Most members of Family Nitidulidae are found where plant fluids are fermenting or souring. These sap beetles were eating and mating under the petals of Opuntia humifusa (Prickly Pear Cactus).
Stilbus sp.? .... Shining Flower Beetle
On December 30, 2015, this 1.5 mm long beetle was captured in a sweep net in low vegetation that was growing along the gopher tortoise fence just South of Smith Preserve Way.
Photographs were created using photomicroscopy and the first and third photographs were sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.
On January 18, 2015, the beetle was identified by Blaine Mathison, Contributing Editor to <BugGuide.net>, as possibly a Stilbus.
According to <BugGuide.net>, the size of this genus is 1.1 to 2.5 mm, and there are 30 species in our area and >70 worldwide.
Members of Family Phalacridae are often found in composite flowers. Adults are oval-shaped, shiny, and usually tan or black. Larvae feed in flower heads or eat fungal spores.
Diplotaxis bidentata ... May Beetle/ Junebug
On April 7, 2015, the 6 mm beetle shown in the first three images was captured in a pit trap placed in sand adjacent to a Pinus elliottii densa (Southern Florida Slash Pine) tree in the middle of the Smith Preserve. Photographs were created using photomicroscopy.
On April 16, 2015, the beetle was identified from these photographs by P. E. Skelley, Florida State Collection of Arthropods.
On April 2, 2015, the 6.75 mm beetle shown in the next four photographs was caught in a pit trap placed in sand in an area of ground lichens and oak leaves adjacent to Quercus geminata (Sand Live Oaks). These photographs were also created using photomicroscopy.
On May 14, 2015, the beetle was identified as Diplotaxis sp. by Blaine Mathison, Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>. It may be the same species as the first individual shown above, but it is .75 mm larger.
On November 24, 2015, a 7 mm long beetle (shown at right), was caught in a pitfall trap placed in the middle of the Smith Preserve in a scrub area covered with Cladina confusa (Reindeer Moss Lichens). Photographs were submitted for identification to <BugGuide.net>, and on December 4, 2015, the beetle was identified as another Diplotaxis bidentata by Blaine Mathison.
Diplotaxis bidentata ranges from Florida to New Jersey and is an herbivore generalist.
Euphoria sepulcralis ... Dark Flower Scarab / Flower Beetle
In North America, there are 1,280 beetle species in Family Scarabaeidae. Family members are heavy-bodied, oval or elongate, and usually convex. The antennae have 8 to 11- segments. The last three segments are expanded into plate-like structures that may be spread apart or united to form a compact terminal club. Scarabs vary a great deal in what they eat. As adults, many are dung feeders, while others eat decomposing plant or animal material, fungi, flowers, or foliage.
Euphoria sepulcralis belongs to Subfamily Cetoniinae of Family Scarabeaidae. Members of this subfamily are common throughout the United States. They are active during the day and are attracted to blossoms of fragrant plants. In the first photograph, a dark flower scarab is eating Opuntia humifusa (Prickly Pear). In the second photograph an individual is eating Bidens alba (Beggarticks).
This species feeds on nectar and pollen and chews the inner parts of the flowers. Because individuals have so many hairs on their exoskeletons, as shown in the third photograph with the individual resting on a human's finger, they easily transfer pollen from one flower to another. Notice the yellow grains of pollen covering the beetle in the first photograph.
The individual below was resting on the leaf of Asimina reticulata (Netted Pawpaw). Note: It is covered with pollen too. This individual was identified for the webmaster by Blaine Mathison, a Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.
Strategus antaeus ... Ox Beetle
This beetle species was identified from these photographs by Paul Skelley on November 30, 2015. Dr. Skelley is the Entomology Section Administrator of the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Division of Plant Industry/Entomology, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Strategus antaeus belongs to Subfamily Dynastinae of the Scarabaidae Family.
The beetle larvae (grubs) are important recyclers and decomposers of organic matter. They eat and recycle decaying wood, plant roots, and leaves. The larval stage is known as a wireworm. This stage develops over a four to six month period. Then the pupal stage begins.
The first photograph shows a fully-developed wireworm. As shown, when the wireworm is stretched out, it is over 5 cm long.
Below are a sequence of photographs showing a wireworm digging a hole in the sandy sediment at the Smith Preserve. This sequence took about 1 minute.
At left is the mound left after the wireworm had completely buried itself. Note, the mound is about eight centimeters wide.
As shown below, adult ox beetles are quite large. The first photograph shows a male. This individual has three horns on its thorax, one frontal and two posterior. The posterior horns are laterally compressed. This is a "minor" male. There are also "major" males of this species. They have three much larger horns and resemble triceratops dinosaurs.
The second photograph below shows a female. A female has a short frontal horn that she uses for digging. She will dig vertical shafts about 20 cm deep, pack them with dead oak leaves, and lay eggs singly in the composting leaves.
Ox beetle adults are active from May to November, and during this time, they mate. They live four to six months, feed on flowers and fruit, and dig deep holes in sandy soil to hide during the day.
The range of this species is Texas to Florida to Massachusetts to Kansas. Typically individuals are found in sandy areas along coastal plains.
Strigoderma pygmaea ... Pygmy Chafer / Shining Leaf Chafer
The scarab in the first two photographs is Strigoderma pygmaea on the leaf of Desmodium incanum (Ticktrefoil/ Beggar Ticks). Note: Its length is about 5 mm.
The third photograph is an individual chewing the leaf of Waltheria indica (Sleepy Morning.) The fourth photograph is an enlargement of one of its antenna. On September 4, 2013, this individual was identified as Strigoderma pygmaea by Yurika Alexander, Contributor to <bugguide.net>, hosted by Iowa State University Entomology.
The last three photographs are of another individual on a seed pod of Urena lobata (Caesar Weed).
Tomarus sp. ... Carrot Beetle
The individual shown in these photographs was found dead on top of the sand in a scrub area of the Christopher B. Smith Preserve on February 3, 2014. The beetle was 2 cm long. As shown in the second photograph, the labrum (upper lip) of the beetle is hidden under a rounded, shield-like structure, called the "clypeus." As can be seen in the third photograph, its abdomen is not completely covered by wings.
The beetle was identified from these photographs as Tomarus sp., a carrot beetle, on November 7, 2015, by Alan Jeon, Contributing Editor of <bugguide.net>, hosted by Iowa State Entomology Department.
Carrot beetles are a type of rhinoceros beetle (Subfamily Dynastinae). There are over 300 described species in Dynastinae; most are large in size.
Trichiotinus sp. ... Hairy Flower Scarab
Eight species of Trichiotinus are found throughout much of the United States and southern Canada.
Adult hairy flower scarabs eat leaves, flowers, and pollen of many deciduous trees, shrubs, and other plants (including cactus.) They rarely cause any serious damage, and in fact act as pollinators for many flowering tree species. But the same cannot be said for the larval form of this beetle. While feeding, the larvae can do great damage to plants.
Note: The beetle in these photographs is approximately 1 cm (10 mm) long. On September 5, 2013, it was confirmed from these photographs to be Trichiotinus sp. by "roar", Contributing Editor of <bugguide.net>, hosted by Iowa State University Entomology. Jon W. Quist, another Contributing Editor, said that "based on the locality, it would have to be Trichiotinus affinis, Trichiotinus lunulatus or Trichiotinus piger."
Crephilus maxillosus ... Hairy Rove Beetle
On January 28, 2015, this 13-mm long rove beetle was found under a dead snake that had been placed in the scrub of the Smith Preserve by the science staff nearly two weeks earlier. The beetle was identified on January 28, 2015 from this photograph by "v belov," Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, hosted by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.
There are nearly 2,900 species in Family Staphylinidae. This particular species is typically found wherever there is carrion, but it can also be found in leaf litter, decaying plants, and beneath the bark of dead trees. When the snake carcass was lifted, this beetle rapidly burrowed into the sandy, leafy sediment with its body curled upward and the tip of its abdomen raised like a scorpion's stinger.
Adults range 12 to 18 mm in length. Elytra cover the first few abdominal segments. Eyes are large; mandibles close across one another in front of the head. Antenna are 11-segmented, thick and beaded. Gold setae (hairs) are on the posterior portion of the head, the elytra, and the last abdominal segments.
This species is predacious in both the larval and adult stages. Individuals feed on carcasses as well as on maggots that feed on carcasses. The beetle is considered beneficial to the environment as a scavenger and predator.
Crephilus maxillosus is used in forensic science to help establish time of death.
Dalmosanus steevesi ... Ant-Loving Beetle
On December 29, 2014, this 1 mm long beetle was living in pine needle litter beneath a Pinus elliottii densa (Southern Florida Slash Pine) tree in the middle of the Smith Preserve. The beetle was extracted from the litter using a Berlese Funnel. These photographs were created using photomicroscopy.
On February 12, 2015, the beetle was identified from these photographs as a female Dalmosanus steevesi. It is an ant-loving beetle belonging to Family Staphylinidae (The Rove Beetles), Subfamily Pselaphinae. The expert who identified it is Donald S. Chandler, a Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology.
There are 9,000 to 10,000 species in the Subfamily Pselaphinae. They are especially diverse in the tropics, and are found in decaying leaf litter, grass tussocks, mosses, and other particulate microhabitats.
They are thought to be predators of small invertebrates, particularly springtails and oribatid mites, both of which were found in the same litter sample with this beetle.
One internet source explains that the subfamily gets its name "ant-loving beetle" because some members of the family secrete a solution from hairs on their bodies on which ant larvae feed. Another internet reference states some species of these beetles infiltrate ant colonies by producing pheromones that deceive the host ants into accepting them as "nest mates." The beetles are fed by ant workers and carried around the nest where they feed on eggs and secretions from ant larvae.
In the 1 gallon bag of leaf litter containing this beetle, there were more than 70 ants of at least two different species. There were also two additional beetles of this species in the sample.
Euconnus subgenus Napoconnus... Ant-Like Stone Beetle
On December 29, 2014, this 1 mm long beetle was living in pine needle litter beneath a Pinus elliottii densa (Southern Florida Slash Pine) tree in the middle of the Smith Preserve. The beetle was extracted from the litter using a Berlese Funnel. These photographs were created using photomicroscopy.
On February 10, 2015, the beetle was identified from the first photograph by Donald S. Chandler, Contributor to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology. It belongs to Subfamily Scydmaeninae (Ant-Like Stone Beetles). Chandler reported that "the three-segmented antenna place it there, but I provide no statement as to the validity of this subgenus."
Another source, American Beetles: Archostemata, Myxophaga, Adephaga, Polyphaga Volume 1, edited by Ross H. Arnett, Jr., and Michael C. Thomas states on page 265, "Members of this subgenus are mostly tropical in distribution." Subgenus Napoconnus was described by Herbert Franz in 1957. According to the description in American Beetles, insects previously placed into Subgenus Napochus (Thomas 1862), but which have a 3-segmented antennal club, may instead belong to Subgenus Napocconus.
Webmaster note: apparently there is still some debate about the placement of these beetles and there are many species of this genus yet to be described. Perhaps this is one of those undescribed species.
As can be seen in these photographs, this very tiny beetle has a 3-segmented antennal club and the entire insect is covered with setae (hairs).
Unknown Species... Carrion Rove Beetle
On December 16, 2015, this ~1.5 cm rove beetle was spotted moving quickly along the ground, much of the time with the tip of its abdomen pointed into the air.
It was running beside carrion that was covered with fly maggots. Maggots are their food source, not the carrion.
These photographs have been submitted to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology, for species identification.
Blapstinus metallicus ... Darkling Beetle
On March 3, 2016, this 4 mm long beetle was captured in a pitfall trap that had been placed overnight beside a Ceratiola ericoides (Florida Rosemary) bush in the northwest quadrant of the Smith Preserve. These photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.
On April 1, 2016, the species was identified by Blaine Mathison, a Contributing Editor to <BugGuide.net>.
According to the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences research facility in Florida, affiliated with University of Florida, the species ranges from 4.0 to 4.8 mm and lives under debris in sandy locations.
On April 2, 2015, this 5.5 mm long beetle was caught in a pit trap placed in sand near ground lichens and oak leaves adjacent to Quercus geminata (Sand Live Oak) trees living in the scrub in the middle of the Smith Preserve.
The beetle had a bronze-colored abdomen with a black thorax.
On April 17, 2015 the family was identified from the first two photographs by Blaine Mathison, Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology. Mathison said "looks like Alaetrinus or maybe Blapstinus. "
On November 24, 2015, two beetles, one 4.2 mm long and the other 5 mm long (Images below), were caught in pitfall traps placed in the middle of the Smith Preserve in a scrub area covered with Cladina confusa (Reindeer Moss Lichens). Photographs were submitted for identification to <BugGuide.net>. On December 4, 2015, Blaine Mathison said "thinking Blapstinus." On July 1, 2016, v belov, a Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net> stated "Blaine nailed it."
Epitragodes tomentosus ... Hairy Darkling Beetle
Epitragodes tomentosus is in Family Tenebrionidae (The Darkling Beetles). Darkling beetles get their common name from their black or brown coloration.
Tenebrionid larvae, often referred to as “mealworms” or “false wireworms,” are usually cylindrical to slightly flattened.
As shown in this photograph, an adult Epitragodes tomentosus is egg-shaped and dorsally convex. The body and appendages are a dark reddish-brown. The dorsal surface is covered with silvery hairs which randomly group together, creating a speckled appearance. The beetle is 8.5 to 9 mm in length.
Most darkling beetles are active at night and live in the substrate. Epitragodes tomentosus is associated with rotting wood that has been softened and chemically altered by the action of fungi. It is often found living in crevices between branches of deciduous trees. The one shown here was on the underside of a Callicarpa americana (American Beautyberry) leaf.
Gondwanocrypticus obsoletus ... Darkling Beetle
On December 13, 2016, this 3.5 mm long beetle was captured in a pitfall trap placed in sand and dried grass along 14th Avenue N in the southern portion of the Smith Preserve, not far from a private residence.
These photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.
On December 19, 2016, the species was identified by Blaine Mathison, a Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>.
According to <BugGuide.net>, this species is one of at least two species in the genus that is found north of Mexico. In the United States, it is found in Texas, Florida, and Virginia. It is common in Florida. Its habitat is leaf litter.
Family Tenebrionidae (Possibly)
Unknown Species ... Unknown Common Name
This strange 2-mm long beetle larva was found in a leaf litter sample collected beneath an oak hammock in the northeast hammock of the Smith Preserve on December 17, 2014. It was separated from the litter sample using a Berlese Funnel. These photographs were created using photomicrography.
The larva was identified from these photographs by Paul Skelley on November 30, 2015 as "a young larva of a darkling beetle (Tenebrionidae, or a closely related family)." Dr. Skelley is the Entomology Section Administrator of the Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Division of Plant Industry/Entomology, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Both larvae and adult darkling beetles are scavengers that feed on decayed vegetation and sometimes dung. Some species infest seeds, cereals, fungi, and living plants. Larvae are often found in soil, under stones, or in fallen decayed logs.
Pycnomerus thrinax ... Ironclad Beetle
On March 22, 2016, this 2.5 mm long beetle was in a leaf litter collection obtained under a large Serenoa repens (Saw Palmetto) in the north central section of the Smith Preserve, north of the bridge on Smith Preserve Way. Specimens were isolated from the sample with a Berlese funnel.
These three photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Entomology Department. The species was identified on December 1, 2016 by Tommy McElrath. A contributing editor, v belov, stated, "... and I think it's a great call."
Pycnomerus is the largest genus in Family Zopheridae. Pycnomerus thrinax was described as a new species in Insecta Mundi, Vol. 14, No. 4, December, 2000 by Michael A. Ivie and Stanislaw Adam Slipinski. It was found in rotting stems of Thrinax parviflora (Thatch Palm).
The identification of this specimen fits many of characteristics described by Ivie and Slipinski. The specimen fits within the size range of 2.3 to 2.8 mm in length. It is flat, has an ungrooved pronotum, and a 2-segmented club at the end of its antennae. The body is dorso-ventrally flattened and the pronotum is flat. The insect color is light reddish-brown.
However, the ventral surface, pronotum, and elytra appeared in the photographs above to be lacking round punctate marks described for this species. Additional photos were taken with higher resolution, and round punctate marks verify the species identification.
Unknown Species ... Unknown Common Name
On December 19, 2014, this 2.5 mm long beetle larva (and another like it) were found in a leaf litter sample collected beneath a citrus tree in the northeast hammock of the Smith Preserve.
It was removed from the leaf litter by using a Berlese Funnel. This photograph was created using photomicroscopy.
On January 10, 2015, the photograph was submitted for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University Department of Entomology. It has not been identified.
Unknown Species ... Unknown Common Name
On December 30, 2015, this 1.5 mm long beetle larva was captured in a sweep net used in high grasses and other vegetation growing adjacent to the north bank of the pond in the Smith Preserve.
Photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.
The identification of the family could not be determined by the experts at <BugGuide.net>. One expert, Blaine Mathison, a Contributing Editor, thought it was probably a member of Family Coccinellidae, but he was not certain. He requested that the specimen be photographed again in a dry state. The first set of photographs were of an individual immersed in alcohol.
The second set of photographs (below) were of a dried individual. It appears from the subtle differences in the position of the legs in the two sets of photographs that these were of two different individuals captured in the same sweep net.
Neither set of photographs were helpful to the expert in his certainty of the family identication.
Unknown Species ... Unknown Common Name
On December 30, 2015, this 2.75 mm long beetle larva was captured in a sweep net used in short brush growing along the gopher tortoise fence that borders the northeast section of the Smith Preserve, just north of Smith Preserve Way. These photographs were created using photomicroscopy and sent for identification to <BugGuide.Net>, sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Entomology.
On April 3, 2016, this insect was recognized as a coleoptera larva by Even Dankowicz, a Contributing Editor of <BugGuide.net>. The family is yet to be identified.
© Photographs and text by Susan Leach Snyder (Conservancy of Southwest Florida Volunteer), unless otherwise credited above.
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