Rain, Rain, Love Ya!

While we are all complaining about the rain, I have to say the following: thanks! Because, I have only watered maybe once or twice this summer. And everything looks lush like it is part of a tropical jungle. Now, if my yard could be automatically mulched, mowed, and dead-headed....

The Big Thing Crawling on the Floor

While I was at an executive committee meeting at Phyllis' house, she came up to me with a stricken expression on her face, a horrified one really. It turned out that they had found a huge insect crawling in their house. "What is it?" she worried. I saw that Louis had put it into a plastic container. Yes, it was huge. I popped open the lid, while she and Louis looked on and wondered if it would get out. It was large, maybe over an inch long, stout, black, with sturdy legs with prominent spurs. No, nothing to worry about. Big as it was, it was only a beetle, and nothing problematic like a cockroach. It would not reproduce and take over the house. Nor would it eat the house. I told her not to worry.

They wondered what to do with it. I told them one possibility was to just let it go back outside. Another was to kill it and put into a bug collection. We all agreed the former was a better solution. I have no idea as of this writing if Louis put it back outside, or if he decided to keep it as a pet.

So, what was it? It looks like one of the members of the rhinoceros beetle subfamily (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Dynastinae, according to the taxonomy in Peterson's Field Guide #29 Beetles). They are among the largest beetles, and tropical ones are huge. This one was tiny, in comparison to those.

Larvae mostly feed in decaying logs and stumps. Adults may fly to lights in Spring and Summer, but I don't know what they eat, or even if they do.

So, enjoy finding the odd insect around when you can. This is a sign of an maturing landscape, with a diverse collection of plants attracting an increasingly diverse insect population. Which is good.

© Iris H. Mars, 2003.