Water beetle crawls under ice


This 22 January 2017 video shows a beetle crawling under ice on the IJssel river in the Netherlands. Very probably, a great silver water beetle.

E. Ehrlich made this video.

Palmetto weevil in Florida, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

18 January 2017

Florida Palmetto Weevil – is a huge “bug” and this is the first one I have ever seen in the Backyard or anywhere! …

The largest weevil in North America is the palmetto weevil, Rhynchophorus cruentatus Fabricius. The palmetto weevil is native to Florida and until recently was the only species of palm weevil in the continental United States. Once, the palmetto weevil was considered a minor pest, attacking only severely wounded and dying trees. However, it is now known to be a pest of stressed nursery and transplanted palms as well as apparently healthy Canary Island date, Bismarck (Bismarckia nobilis) and Latan (Latania spp.) palms. The adults of this species display various color variations. They can also be quite variable in overall size.

Weevils are a family of beetle that have their mandibles at the end of a, sometimes, very long rostrum (a snoutlike projection of the head). In fact, the rostrum of some weevils (i.e., nut weevils) is as long as their bodies. These modified mouthparts are used for feeding and to prepare holes in host plant material in which eggs are laid. Weevils are a large, diverse and important group of insects. Most feed on plant material, and many are considered to be economic pests. While some adults feed outside the plant, the larvae (or grubs), which have relatively large mandibles and are legless, feed cryptically within the host plant.

Worldwide, there are ten described species of weevils in the genus Rhynchophorus that feed on palms.

The ‘Florida’ palmetto weevil, Rhynchophorus cruentatus, has been reported from coastal regions of South Carolina south through the Florida Keys, and west into coastal Texas. It is also present throughout the state of Florida. Fossil records suggest that the palmetto weevil was present in Florida during the Pleistocene (about 1 million years ago).

Read more here.

New Samoan beetle species discovered, already extinct


Holotype specimen of Bryanites graeffii. Image credit: J.K. Liebherr

From Sci News:

Bryanites graeffii: New Beetle Species Described from 150-Year-Old Museum Specimen

Jan 11, 2017 by News Staff

A new species of ground beetle has been identified by Cornell University Professor James Liebherr.

Bryanites graeffii is described from Samoa based on a single male specimen collected between 1862-1870 that was recently discovered in the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris,” Prof. Liebherr said.

“The species epithet honors Dr. Eduard Graeffe, zoologist and naturalist from Zurich, Switzerland who collected the specimen while working in Samoa from 1862-1870. The species epithet is formed from Gräffe converted to Latin iconography, and without the terminal letter,” he explained.

The new species belongs to Bryanites, a genus of beetles in the family Carabidae that was previously known from two species represented by two specimens only, collected in 1924 from Savai’i Island, Samoa, by Edwin H. Bryan, Jr., Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Honolulu, during the Bishop Museum’s Whitney South Seas Expedition.

Much like the rest of the species within the genus, Bryanites graeffii showed vestigial flight wings and other traits associated with flight-wing loss.

However, at length of 1.62 cm it is the largest for the taxonomic group it is now assigned to.

Although this may seem way too obvious for taxonomists to overlook, the beetle’s relatives are just as obscure.

“As a result, we now have three species representing an evolutionary radiation in Samoa, all known from single specimens collected long ago,” Prof. Liebherr said.

The phylogenetics of the three Bryanites species link them to other groups from Fiji and New Zealand.

“What is the advantage of knowledge about species that existed some 90-150 years ago, but no longer? It might actually point us to the actual level of impact mankind has on natural ecosystems,” Prof. Liebherr said.

“The cause of the likely extermination of Bryanites graeffi might never be known with certainty, however, the colonization of many Pacific islands by the Polynesian rat has always been followed by the diminution or elimination of native insect species.”

“Thus, we can add another likely victim to the list of species that have been adversely impacted by mankind’s commensal voyagers.”

A detailed description of Bryanites graeffii appears in the Jan. 5 issue of the journal Zoosystematics and Evolution.

Rare rhinoceros beetles saved


This is a 2013 video from the Netherlands about rhinoceros beetles and their larvae.

They are a rare species in the Netherlands.

On 2 December 2013, many rhinoceros beetles in Noord-Brabant province in the Netherlands were saved from death.

Translated from Omroep Brabant in the Netherlands, 1 December 2016:

A while ago, Hans van der Staak received a special phone call. He works at Den Ouden in Schijndel, a company that makes compost from wood chips. “A customer called. He had a big wood chips pile which had been lying there for years.”

Hans went to check and made an extraordinary discovery. “I quickly saw traces of larvae and immediately recognized that it had to be rhinoceros beetles.” The huge pile of wood chips proved to be special.

Trucks

“What do you do with such a mountain?” Hans asked. “It would be a shame to compost it.” He called the Brabants Landschap conservation organisation. When they discovered it was the indigenous rhino beetle they wanted to have the pile of wood chips.

On Friday [2 December], several trucks will bring the mountain of wood chips to the Herbertusbossen [woodland owned by Brabants Landschap] in Heeze.

South African dung beetle video


This video from South Africa says about itself:

23 November 2016

A dung beetle rolls his dung ball away from a midden before another male comes in and steals it.

Beetle eats dead beetle, video


This 25 October 2016 video shows a Nicrophorus vespilloides burying beetle eating a dead dung beetle.

On the burying beetle’s head, mites travel along.

Christ Grootzwagers in the Netherlands made this video.

Beetle eats grub, video


On this 3 September video by Silvia Hellingman from the Netherlands, a common sun beetle eats a grub of another beetle species, of the Scarabaeoidea superfamily.