It's always fun when I find a new animal and have to do a bit of sleuthing to find out what I've seen. My most recent discovery was yesterday morning, when I was doing my normal dog walk/wildlife photography session. It was one of the chillier mornings we've had so far this fall, which means the insects were a touch more sluggish about getting up and about than normal. This is a definite advantage for me, as I'm not normally a crack-of-dawn sort of person.
On one of my flashy clumps of goldenrod at the edge of the draw, I came upon this beastie, hunkered down among the leaves, looking like it hadn't decided to wake up yet for the day.
That said, I haven't been able to find out a great deal more about this animal than its name and the fact that it likes to laze about on goldenrod blossoms in the fall. It apparently uses Amorpha species as its larval food. Several sites on the web noted Amorpha fruticosa (false indigo) specifically, and there are a few false indigo plants down by our local little creek, not too far away, which could certainly have served as this guy's nursery. On the other hand, Insects in Kansas said that the larvae bore into the crowns of all plants in the genus Amorpha. I suspect the latter is true, which makes me less than ecstatic, as I only have a few remnant leadplants (Amorpha canescens) on my acreage and I'd much rather NOT have them compromised by being munched on, however beautiful the muncher is.
Time will tell.
In the meantime, I'm still interested in having found a new species on our spot of prairie. And I'll close with this photo, for all of you who wonder where bugs go to sleep at night....
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
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Very nice - that's a truly magnificent beetle! It seems to be quite rare over my way, in Ohio. Good find!
Think we lead parallel lives. Walking the dogs and checking out plants, insects, and wildlife...always finding something!
I thought it was the same bug you identified on my blog. Party on, as long as they're good guys!
Jim, It was an exciting find for me! Looking on bugguide.net, they do have at least one image from Ohio, so keep your eyes open! (Especially if you find a site where there is goldenrod and false indigo in relatively close proximity.)
Janet, I've wondered if our lives are running parallel as well! How funny that you should mention it!
The colors of this guy are just about exactly the same as those of the soldier beetle, Tammy, but in "person" this beetle was much larger and heavier looking. That striping on the head was also really striking on this Amorpha borer.
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