Saturday, July 17, 2010

Big beautiful beetle, Pelidnota punctata

[Photo: Pelidnota punctata.] When cutting back the neighbour's encroaching grapevines, I discovered this beautiful insect, a whopping 2 cm long, and was actually able to get a decent photo! (The bug was so still when I caught it that I thought it was dead, but after a few minutes it rubbed its face and started nibbling the leaf.)

This beauty is a grapevine beetle (scarabée ponctué de la vigne), an eastern North American relative of the sacred scarab beetle of ancient Egypt. The adults eat grape leaves and fruit, and other plants as well such as Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia, vigne vierge de Virginie), but are not considered a major pest of vineyards. The eggs are laid in rotting wood or soil, and the larvae (grubs) feed on roots. Both larvae and adults are nocturnal, which I guess is why this little(ish) one was inactive when I found it—it was drowsy!

1 comment:

  1. I found a large beetle recently and was similarly taken aback. I honestly didn't think it was real at first. It was so large!


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