Plant-Insect Interaction: Shining flower beetles on goldenrod

Shining flower beetle (Coleoptera: Phalacridae: Olibrus sp.) photographed 09/23/2011 near Clayton Michigan.

I see shining flower beetles (family Phalacridae) all the time but don’t usually bother trying to photograph them.  These tiny little insects are less than 3mm in length and test the limits of my camera’s macros.  Yesterday I got lucky, however, and managed to get some reasonably clear photos of one particular genus (Coleoptera: Phalacridae: Olibrus sp.).

Shining flower beetle (Coleoptera: Phalacridae: Olibrus sp.) photographed 09/23/2011 near Clayton Michigan.

The larvae of these beetles feed on fungus spores, but the adults eat pollen primarily from asters, especially goldenrod (Solidago sp., Asteraceae) (Triplehorn and Johnson 2005).  I walked through twenty acres of open field blanketed with various asters in full bloom, and these beetles were indeed found mostly on goldenrod.  If I had kept sweeping just the goldenrod I probably could have collected thousands of them.

Literature cited:

Triplehorn, C.A. and N.F. Johnson.  2005.  Borror and DeLong’s Introduction to the Study of Insects.  Seventh Edition.  Thomson Brooks/Cole, Belmont, CA.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Ecology, Entomology, Organism Interactions and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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