Forgotten Photo Friday: Otiorhynchus ligustici – Alfalfa Snout Beetle
January 21, 2011
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Found crawling up the siding of my house in May: Otiorhynchus ligustici – the Alfalfa Snout Beetle.
Native to Europe, accidentally introduced to North America in the late 1800’s, declared a pest in New York in 1933, and spread to Canada in the mid 60’s. It has only been detected in a few towns in eastern Ontario. It is supremely pesty to alfalfa plants everywhere.
But, although it is pesty, it is a VERY BIG AND AWESOMELY SCALY BEETLE! And, since it is a Curculionid, it looks like Gonzo. They all do. So I love it, just a little bit.
Update: since this is an invasive pest, and it is not terribly widespread, I alerted my provincial ministry of agriculture about the find. They’re interested! A survey of the area may be conducted in the spring (they emerge in April) to determine if this little dude was just a lone hitch-hiker from one of the known infestations or if he represents a new one. Cool!
Completely unrelated sidebar to update on my student-ey existence: I had a mini-breakdown this week over the utter craziness of my workload and how behind I am (although said breakdown may have been caused, at least in part, by a mostly sleepless night which I tried to counteract with about eleventy-thousand cups of black coffee the next day. About the latter, a friend and reader of this blog accurately said: “You get where caffeine keeps your eyes open but your brain is asleep. Then you start hallucinating.” And this ACTUALLY HAPPENED. About ten minutes before I had to teach my second lab of the week. Trying to give a pre-lab lecture whilst in a caffeine-induced hallucinatory state is … well, it’s pretty special. ) Oh, the good thing is: the labs are going really well (despite the coffee) and my students are happy. Therefore, I am happy. (Have I mentioned that I love teaching? Because I really do.) Now I just have to get all my other academic sh_t together, and I’ll be laughing all the way to my comps.