...a Bumble Flower Scarab Beetle (Euphoria inda) of course! (As if I knew that...) This cool bug is another for me that fell into the "what the heck is that?" category...
A Bumble Flower Scarab Beetle (Euphoria inda) clings to a sign at a nature preserve in Fairfield Glade, Tennessee.
When you look closely at this bug, you find a a fuzzy, yellow beetle with maroon stripes on its abdominal segments. It sort of looks like a moth whose wings took a turn for the worse, but really the body is not moth-like at all. It has armor plating like a beetle...a scarab beetle to be exact, and its antenna are definitely not feathery like a moth's but instead have plate-like lamellae at the end like a beetle's. The elytra (the hard outer wings that protect the hind wings) have a mottled brown, yellow and black pattern on them, and even though they are also a bit hairy, really show it's a beetle. Matty, Ron (my father-in-law), and I studied this guy for a while trying to figure out what he was. Eventually we moved on in search of a few caves, and I took a few quick shots so I could go back later and ID him...
This Bumble Flower Beetle must have just woken up from his long winter's nap and crawled out of the spot where he overwintered. It was warm, and he seemed to be soaking up a little sun.
...turns out, I didn't have to ID him. My friend, Paul Krusling, knew what he was and sent me a link to the hairy bug on BugGuide.net (click here). I wonder how many other people out there were not familiar with Bumble Flower Beetles? If he were a rare bug, I'd feel better not having known what he was, but he's not. He's one of the most common members of the scarab beetle family! However, I may have seen him before but just didn't know it. The Bumble Flower Beetle gets his name because when he flies, he looks and sounds like a bumble bee. So maybe you've seen one too without knowing it!
(Matty and I just returned from a little spring break in Tennessee visiting my mother- and father-in-law in Fairfield Glade, about an hour west of Knoxville. I'll have a few more posts about springtime in Tennessee over the next couple of days.)
To learn more about the Bumble Flower Beetle (Euphoria inda), click here for a cool fact sheet from Utah State University.