🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Insectilicious

I wanted to know the name of every stone and flower and insect and bird and beast. I wanted to know where it got its colour, where it got its life - but there was no one to tell me.
- George Washington Carver


Leucocelis rubra - or Amethyst fruit chafer (Identification kindly supplied by Joh - see comments below - thank you Joh!)

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We don't have the same problem today as what Carver had, if we want to know something, we just Google it. But no amount of Googling got me to identify this beetle. At first glance I would've thought it's a Christmas beetle, but the tapered body at the back and iridescent colour leads me to believe that it's a fruit beetle of sorts (besides the fact that it's obviously enjoying this orange I put out on one of my bird feeders!)

We all know the big, yellow and black fruit beetle often found on our fruit trees and this little chap is about half their size.

African fruit beetle - Pachnoda sinuata (Pic from Wikipedia)

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Fruit beetles are strong fliers and can cause fruit and flower mayhem during the course of their day's foraging. At night, they repair to special 'sleeping trees' or else bury themselves in the soil at the foot of the very plants they have been ravaging.

The larvae of fruit beetles feed on decaying vegetable debris and on plant roots. The female of Pachnoda sinuata takes a trick from the dung beetle: she makes several little balls of dung (or compost) and then lays an egg in each of them. The tiny larvae that hatch feed on the contents of these balls, before transforming themselves into pupae. You may find up to a dozen of these little dung balls attached to one another within the warm, moist intimacy of an aromatic manure heap or pile of compost, or in a well-fertilised flowerbed.

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6 comments:

  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Susan


    Cure for Sweaty Feet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow Susan, great to hear from you! Glad that you've decided to comment, appreciate that!

      Delete
  2. Love the information. Thank you, Maree!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wonderful that you found it interesting Kathryn, thanks for the visit!

      Delete
  3. Hello There,

    I believe that your unidentified beetle is a species of Leucocelis, also known as Amethyst Fruit Chafers.

    It might be a Leucocelis rubra.

    Also, great blog.

    Sincerely,
    Joh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow John, thank you very much for the identification, much appreciated! But I think your first choice is correct, as it does have an amythist shine in certain light conditions.

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