Thursday, 17 June 2010

Beetle or Bee?

This little creature can be encountered from May to July sitting on flowers. I found this one on some lucerne in the orchard. At first glance you think it is a bee because it is black and tawny and very hairy, but it is in fact a beetle in the chafer family, known (unsurprisingly) as a Bee Beetle. It is Trichius spp, one of several very similar species (possibly T. zonatus). They are very variable, ranging from pale yellow to deep orange, and the black spots are different on every one. Bee Beetles breed in rotting timber.

Susan

5 comments:

  1. Looks like the same beetle I saw on a daisy a few posts back!

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  2. Walt: You are quite right.

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  3. Maybe the coloring is a camouflage to protect the beetle? To make insect predators think it's a bee.

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  4. Diogenes: I think that's unlikely. Anything that would tackle a beetle this size would also perfectly happily go for a bumble bee.

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