Friday, 15 June 2012

A Strawberry Seed Beetle

ResearchBlogging.orgGiven that the weather is so damp and cold I am seeing very few insects these days other than bumblebees. At least I have plenty of time to tidy up my ever growing photo library! While going through my ground beetle photos, I thought I would share this shot of  Harpalus rufipes, a common species that I have even found inside the house. The species is quite distinctive with its orange legs and its wings covered on very fine hairs - giving the elythra a matt feel when compared with head and front of the thorax. This is an omnivorous beetle: it will predate small invertebrates but also feeds on seeds, and gets its English name from the damage it inflicts on strawberries. The species is biennial. It breeds in August and the adults overwinter and overlap with the larvae. The larvae dig deep vertical where they cache seeds, which I thought it is pretty cool behaviour for a beetle. As other common European invertebrates, it was introduced in North America before 1937.

More information

Loughridge, A., & Luff, M. (1983). Aphid Predation by Harpalus rufipes (Degeer) (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in the Laboratory and Field. The Journal of Applied Ecology, 20 (2) DOI: 10.2307/2403519

Hartke, A., Drummond, F., & Liebman, M. (1998). Seed Feeding, Seed Caching, and Burrowing Behaviors of Harpalus rufipes De Geer Larvae (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in the Maine Potato Agroecosystem. Biological Control, 13 (2), 91-100 DOI: 10.1006/bcon.1998.0645


Harga Printer said...

Very Like It always Great.. Thanks

Unknown said...

Do they bite? If so, what does the bite look like?

BuggedOut said...

Its a beetle.. a small ground beetle.. why would you question a beetles ability to bite? All beetles have some size of a mandible to eat. Id be more afraid of the ones that sqirt acid..
d guessing what human skin would look like after a bite is the question?

BuggedOut said...

These beetles have grown in numbers in and around my house which is in the middle of a populated city in ky. I have very few wild strawberry weeds in my yard, i do however have some evergreen arborvitae which are only 5' tall but healthy so they produce seed which apparently these guys thrive from. I cant get rid of them and their numbers have grown so large that the parsons spiders (or wolf spiders, cant tell any difference) are getting to be close to having a 2" long body, 5" from leg to leg. And the beetles are getting in the house some how that i cant figure out and the spiders are becoming daily guests, 3 a day and beetles are 4-6 a day.. they are always the exact same two insects, only the two that are in and around my house. Because ive put out more variety of insecticide that i have no ants, grubs, nada.. no mosquitoes, gnats, nymphs, crickets nothing, except for these two. When i mow the spiders run up the walls and beetles. Beetles are always about 3/4", strawberry seed beetle with orange legs, black shiny metallic body with lines on its back just like the pic. Spiders are grey with 2 black stripes lengthwise or black with grey lines, fast, big, and both beetle and spiders seem to be nocturnal feeders, dawn and dusk.. the spiders are bugging me because the youngns are somehow getting in my pants and leave itchy bumps when they bite.. big spiders hurts like hell if they actually bite.. leaves big welts for a week..
Help me get rid of these boogers!!