The Grapevine Beetle!
I saw this thing clinging to the outside of one of our window screens after a downpour the other day. I had no clue it was so attractive at first since I could only see the underside of it. I sent Arp outside to collect it in a plastic bowl. All of us crowded around it while I snapped a few closeups. It was huge! At least an inch long, maybe even a little bigger. I love those crazy antennas – sort of like the hat of a Vegas dancer. But this bugger only stayed a minute, and then promptly flew off. I let out a startled scream as it took off – it flew fast!
Inside, we all looked it up in our trusty bug manual – National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders.Â We are only sometimes successful in making an exact match with the bugs we find and one of the pictures in the book.Â We often have to be satisfied knowing the general family.Â But this time was an exact match – a grapevine beetle.
Here’s another bugger, a ground beetle, that we found the first summer we moved into this house.
It always amazes me how many interesting insects we find in this area and how the diversity of insects exponentially increases the farther you move away from New York City.Â I shouldn’t be surprised, but I can’t help it when I am confronted by some new mini-monster.Â I grew up in a town located approximately 30 minutes outside NYC.Â That area had very boring bugs – some spiders, lightening bugs, lady bugs, and not much else.Â Now that we are an additional 60 minutes outside NYC, it seems like bug heaven.Â Those city folks don’t know what they’re missing.