April 28, 2010
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I think we need a hint of yellow and SHINY after all that god-awful grey and snow yesterday:
There, isn’t that much better?
I have to admit, this little guy had me stumped for a bit. It’s a Very Small Beetle (that’s a dandelion it’s feasting on). Looking at the image above, I briefly entertained notions of ant-like flower beetles and soft-winged flower beetles, but the body shape was all wrong. I started to scan through the folder containing other pics of the critter, looking for a better angle of the lower half of its body, and found this:
A. (Melanthaxia) inornata
Well, I’ll be dipped: it’s a Buppie butt! It hadn’t occured to me to think of the Jewel Beetles (Buprestidae) for some reason. I think I tend to dreamily imagine them all as Big Obvious Bearers of Tremendous SHINY, not as small, inconspicuous and easily overlooked black specks on dandelions. This is clearly a flight of fancy on my part; a great many Buprestids are actually Very Small Beetles.
Ted will probably (hopefully) correct me on this, but I think it’s a member of the Anthaxia genus (which seems to have two sub-genera and is generally confusing, although Coleopterists would NEVER be confusing, right?).