spring has sprung – part 2

Here’s the second installation of pictures taken around my neighborhood in Berkeley a few weeks ago.  The above picture is a beetle in the family Cantharidae, I believe in the genus Cultellunguis (but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong).  This little critter was running all over these beautiful bright pink flower buds and it was difficult to get him to sit still for a picture.

It wouldn’t be spring without pollination!  These little bees were a-buzzin’ all over the place!  Though bees weren’t the only pollinators out there…

there were also beetles!  The above picture is the Varied Carpet Beetle, Anthrenus verbasci, an insect that when not outside and feeding on pollen as an adult, is one of the worst pests of insect collections.  The larvae feed on dried animal materials – they get into preserved insect collections and destroy all the specimens and hard work that goes along with them.  Though pretty as adults, they instill a sense of panic to those who have worked with natural history collections before.

This little Chrysomelidae beetle was perhaps my favorite of the day, probably due to its teeny size.  The Chrysomelidae is one of the largest beetle families, so I referred to bugguide to try and identify this little guy.  Most likely in the tribe Typophorini, but I’d have to examine him further to place him into either the genus Metachroma or Paria.  If you happen to know your leaf beetle taxonomy, let me know and I’ll put the correct ID up here later.  Enjoy the rest of the beautiful weekend!

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3 thoughts on “spring has sprung – part 2

  1. Nice! I found similar looking Cantharids collecting along the coast in Cali these last couple weeks that I have yet to id. Every year I assume that there will be a series of weeks where collecting will be at it’s finest, yet every year I discover summer dying down before I thought that period has even started. I’m glad you were able to capture it and be in the right place at the right time.

  2. Traci – Your chrysomelid looks like Diachus auratus. Check that out in the collection. Nice blog, and great photos! Mike C.

  3. Hi Mike! Thanks so much for stopping by and for the ID suggestion/correction!
    I’ll check it out in the collection tomorrow and then update the post to reflect the correct ID. This type of feedback and input is exactly why I wanted to start a blog like this in the first place – so thank you!

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