Monday, March 19, 2012

A dazzling cactus and beetle!

Nipple cactus (Mammillaria sp.)?

Yesterday morning, James mowed a neighbor's lot. Before he started, he stuck his head in the house and hollered. "Hey, Sheryl, come see this cool cactus!" So I ran outside and looked. Oh, my goodness, the cactus WAS awesome! I think it's a nipple cactus. While I was pulling away some burclover from the cactus, a black beetle scurried away. Then a STUNNING beetle appeared, too... It took some doing, but James managed to get the beetle to cling to a stick so I could shoot some pictures. That beetle could run FAST through the grass!

Fiery searcher (Calosoma scrutator)
This morning, I posted an image to and got an ID: fiery searcher (Calosoma scrutator), also called caterpillar hunter. Texas entomologist Mike Quinn has a page on the species, too. 

On, remarks on the species page note, "One of the most beautiful North American beetles." I agree!


Ento Mike said...

Stunning shot of this gorgeous beetle!!!

Ann said...

Gorgeous photos! Thanks for posting!

Jay said...

Love the photos of the cactus and the beetle. I'm glad to see that you have been able to enjoy the world around you!

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

Thanks, all! It's so exciting and fun to discover new plants and critter right in our yard and neighborhood!

Unknown said...

found a dead one on the streets of Tupelo, MS. Thanks for identifying it for me

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

Really? Awesome!

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