Many shrubs in our locality produce numerous spreading flowering-heads. During the time of pollination a close look at these flowers will reveal numerous insects, gathering to feed on the pollen. Aside from flying insect visitors, there are insects that seem akin to permanent residents; that is, certain shrubs have the same insect species present from year to year. The Flower Longhorn Beetle, clinging to the maple-leaf viburnum flower, is a beetle that often attracts attention as we inspect the various insects gorging at the feasting site. Flower Longhorn Beetles are only 12 mm in length but may be easily defined by their black and dull yellow markings.
A host of tiny (barely visible) beetles seem always to accompany larger beetles. Identifying most beetles is an overwhelming task. Larger beetles are commonly illustrated in nature books, but tiny beetles number into thousands. Authorities estimate that there are 290,000 beetles species worldwide and 230,700 in the United States. Insects comprise the largest group in the animal kingdom with beetles making up about 40% of all insects. It is well-known that new species of insects are being classified yearly.
Copyright © 2003 William T. Hathaway.