I get antsy when I don't get my critter fix. I wander about the house, checking doors and windows, spaces under the fridge, the stove, the beds, corners of the ceiling, hoping for at least a tiny spider or a drowsy weevil. I turn over things in the garden, looking for woodbugs and beetles. Winter is a hard, hard time; all the wonderful beasties are holed up, waiting for spring.
It only got worse this year, when I started thinking about the beetle carnival. Now I was searching the blogs, with the same results as I find at home. Nobody else had beetles, either. Here, finally, a lone carpet beetle showed up, and that was it. I fretted and dreamed of spring.
|My carpet beetle, snacking on a bud from the maple tree. (Larvae eat clothes; the adults like flowers, especially maple flowers.)|
So when the posts carrying beetles began to come in, I checked each one for date and location of find. And there's a definite pattern to them. See:
Posts from North America are all (except one outlier) of the "Remember When" type.
- Dragonfly Woman contributed a Palo Verde Beetle, from last summer,
- Ted MacRae, at Beetles in the Bush, dug out North America's largest scarab beetle from his collection,
- Adrian Thysse reported on Garden beetles, Orsodacne sp. from last July,
- Art Evans, blogging at What's Bugging You? writes about a False Longhorn Beetle, Cephaloon genus he found back in the 1970s,
- TGIQ (The Geek in Question), for Forgotten Photo Friday, brings us a Carrion Beetle,
- Tim Eisele's kids (The Backyard Arthropod Project) caught him an Oak Timberworm in May, 2010,
- And in a guest blog post at Scientific American, Beth Jones reports on an infestation of the Asian Long-horned beetle which goes back to the 1990s.
- For good measure, I looked up my old posts from last year, and the year before. Yes, I did have Drugstore Beetles, live ones, too, in February. But they had hatched in my kitchen from pupae brought up from Mexico.
Very good. Misery loves company!
The outlier in the N.American posts comes from Margarethe Brummerman, blogging on Arizona Beetles, Bugs, Birds and More; she reports on a field trip in the Arizona dunes this February, where she found Darkling Beetles, and more.
To the south, in Central and South America, however, there are beetles a-plenty at this time of year:
- On Beetles in the Bush, I found 3; Bicho Torito from Argentina,
- Gorgulho do Fungo in Brazil,
- and also from Brazil, Fusquinha. (Checking Ted's blog again, I find he's added another from Brazil.)
- Troy, at Nature Closeups, has some Mystery Beetles for us,
- And Leaf Beetles, too. These are all from Costa Rica.
- And Alex Wild went to Ecuador to photograph his Stunning Staphylinid.
Hmmm ... Maybe I should consider a trip south next year.
There are other places to find beetles, however. For example, in Czechoslovakia, if we'd got there at the right time, we'd have found a room full of "really excited" entomologists, stooping over cases of beetles. A contingent from the Natural History Museum (UK) was among them; read about it at Beetles: Czech. Or there's a workshop on Scarab Beetles coming up in Peru; Coleopterist's Corner has the details.
As if the list of beetles weren't long enough, a couple of new species have been described; Metapocrytus, reported on Salagubang, and Arsipoda geographica, named after the National Geographic Society.
And I have no idea how to classify this last post: Jason Goldman, blogging on ScienceBlogs, has a video about a Zombie Cyborg Beetle. Really! What next?
|Unidentified beetle, from Watershed Park, Delta, 2009. Definitely not a zombie.|
The next edition of An Inordinate Fondness will be hosted by Dragonfly Woman. Send her your submissions by April 15th; you can use this handy submission form if you prefer.
Also, consider hosting a future edition; spaces are available from June on. Send Ted an email to book your slot. Tweet