Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Beetles

Yesterday found me adding two new species to my life list. Both new 'ticks' were added to my 'invertebrates' list and both were of the Order Coleoptera - or the Beetles.
The first was found toddling along the edge of our patio doors at breakfast time. As I tried to take its photo, it kept jumping out of shot - unusual behaviour for a beetle. But as I found out later, this leaping habit gives the beetle its name of Flea Beetle (Altica lythri).
The second beetle was found later in the day as it was taking a stroll across our patio table. This one was a Pill Beetle (Byrrhus pilula).
This little chap was rather colourful when viewed close up, with an iridescent quality to its wing cases or elytra. Pill Beetles get their name from their habit of retracting their legs into grooves on their underside when alarmed, thus giving them an almost smooth and pill-like appearance with nothing 'sticking out'.
I thought these were both charming little creatures. But Malcolm was not so impressed! And my life list has increased again - "O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!" as Lewis Carroll might have said.
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