Beetle Closeup

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This is a Polyphylla decemlineata - "Ten Lined June Beetle". However, when I asked the beetle what it's name was, it just said "eep". Yes, it makes a cute noise...read on...

Here is a very strange beetle. This one wasn't too difficult to spot because of it's markings and it's size. This beetle is about 4.5 centimeters long; a little over an inch and a half. This beetle made a tiny little sound which was much like running a fingernail on nylon fabric. Those giant club shaped antenna are surely for smelling something interesting.

The next three photos show the whole beetle with three different backgrounds...white, black and blue. All photographs were taken with the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens and the ML-3 ring flash.

The black background posed an interesting problem. The beetle was perfectly happy when it had a firm grip on something, but the vinyl surface of the address book was slippery and the beetle just did not want to sit still. The beetle put up quite a fight to cling to the white cloth and made it's little sound many times.

There's an interesting nature program on television that's worth watching, "John Acorn the Nature Nut". Although it's primarily oriented towards children, the host, John Acorn has degrees in zoology and entymology and is not afraid to use and explain large words. Anyone can learn something from this show. One show is on beetles, and a black-light collection jar was set overnight. The last bug they fished out of the jar was one of these beetles, or a species that looked exactly like it. It made the same noise and everything. When it was held up in the wind, the club like antennae opened up to reveal a truly bizarre structure. Fortunately, the College of Agriculture at the University of Arizona has a photo of the antennae in their exposed form; I could never describe something like this properly with words.

If the beetle had done this with it's antenna, I would have probably jumped back and left the room, fearing that this display would be followed by poison gas or something equally bizarre.

Finally, a side view of the beetle. Check out my Silk Worm Moth Photos that I also have on this web site.

All photos Copyright © by Adam Lane. All rights reserved.