Monday, August 10, 2015

Ironclad beauty

I saw this cool species for the first time years and years ago when I lived in the state park here (during my former life). I thought it was beautiful then, and I still think the same thing. So when I spotted an ironclad beetle (Zopherus nodulosus haldemani) ambling across our patio yesterday, I ran for my camera. I took a few close-ups, then I....

...picked it up. As you can see, this species likes to play dead. I took some more shots, then I set it down on the patio.  

After a little while, the beetle "came back to life" and tried to turn itself over. But it couldn't, likely because it couldn't grab on to anything. So I flipped it over. 

Afraid we might accidentally step on it, I decided I'd better move it somewhere safe. No way, the beetle decided, and latched itself onto the patio's surface with its claws. I couldn't budge it!

Okay, I agreed. But not for long. When the beetle finally let go, I slid a sheet of newspaper under it and scooted it over to a nearby flower bed. End of ironclad beetle encounter. 


Rock rose said...

What a fancy coat he has. We had one on our wall a few weeks ago. Of course I ran to get my camera too.

TexasDeb said...

What a handsome fellow. I'm charmed by how neatly he folds his legs/feet in when playing dead. And that is fascinating what a good grip he has when forewarned that large pink thing coming in from above is a "pick-you-up" threat. His markings are gorgeous - they look carefully painted on. Just striking!

Ragna said...

I agree -- what a beautiful beetle! Thank you for your very clear and detailed photos. I can't remember when I last saw one, but have admired them since I was a kid. Hope I see one again soon. Because of your post I'll be more on the lookout ... :-)

Melody McMahon said...

And I'm so impressed that you are brave enough to pick it up! I'd be afraid of getting pinched!
As always, I learned something new from you today! I never knew the name of this insect or that it played dead! Thanks for the great photos too!

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