Skip to content

A friend dropped by the other day with a present. It was an unusual gift, but I thought it was pretty cool.

It was an adult palo verde borer beetle, Derobrachus hovorei, a little over three inches long.

Palo verde borer beetles are common in late June and July in the Southwest.

Although they look pretty fierce, they are really just big, clumsy dinosaurs (definitely the plant-eating kind). Adding to the fierce appearance is the "collar" of spines on the thorax.

Where do they come from? Like cicadas, the immatures spend a long time under the ground feeding on tree roots. In this case, the beetle larvae are creamy white and may be a few inches long. The larvae pupate in the soil and when the adults emerge, they dig out of the soil.

If you are interested in finding out more,

Thank you, Fran!

Today I had a choice between drab and brown, and bright and colorful. I decided to go colorful.

This little beauty is the Elegant Blister Beetle, Eupompha elegans.

It is feeding on a brittlebush flower.

Yum, a veritable banquet of pollen.

Have you ever wondered where click beetles (Order Coleoptera, Family Elateridae) come from? After all, they are beetles, so they must have a larval stage.

The larval stage are called wireworms. They live in the soil, often in sod.

Here's an example of a wireworm. We dug up from the soil. The reddish-brown end to the right is the head.

In this photograph, the wireworm has been tipped on its side so you can see the three tiny pairs of legs on the thorax, which is the part right behind the head. At the other end (end of abdomen) is a single proleg.

The end of the abdomen is towards the right in this photograph. This species has a flattened area above the single peg-like proleg.

The flattened area has numerous hairs, so it probably has a sensory function, although it also looks a bit like a second head.

It is amazing what you see if you (dare to) look closely. 🙂