07.25.2015 Dogbane Beetle Annual

Across the street from the lotus pond that gave me that lovely bullfrog last week is a nice patch of Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium).  Curiously enough, this beetle which feeds on these plants is known as the Dogbane Beetle (Chrysochus auratus).

Dogbane-Beetle-072515-700WebNo messing around with saturation here…they really are this colorfully iridescent.  I try to photograph at least one every year and today was the day.  And, yes, this is a blade of grass, not dogbane.  🙂


About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Closeup Photography, Insect Behavior, macro photography, Nature Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to 07.25.2015 Dogbane Beetle Annual

  1. Jim in IA says:

    Very nice shot. I like how iridescence works. Lots of examples of it in nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jim. I think it was enhanced a bit by the dew drops, but these are little gems. I am not a fan of Christopher Marley’s work but you might enjoy seeing just how many examples there are on his page. It’s not that I don’t think his creations are beautiful, but I am not liking the number of insects he is responsible for being taken out of the environment. Nature has its own way of balancing things and humans are not of much help in that respect.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jim in IA says:

        Nice photos. I’d rather leave them in the wild. Here is some science in a web site on the interference of light and insects. I couldn’t help myself.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Jim. I am always happy to learn a little more about nature.


      • I wasn’t familiar with Christopher Marley’s work, so thanks for the intro. I understand your concern about removing creatures from the wild, but insects in general are so numerous that I don’t imagine there’s much to worry about in this instance. Austin is known for its colony of Mexican free-tail bats, and I just found this on the Internet: “Free-tail bats consume enormous amounts of moths and other insects. Some roosts are known to contain millions of bats. In those colonies it is estimated that 250 tons of insects can be consumed every night.”


      • I am familiar with your bats…from a distance, of course. My concern with the number of insects involved in Marley’s creations is more than numbers. I am as concerned with the insects lives as I am with those of wildflowers which I never pick. I feel the same way about insects. I do not collect them for pinning or cooling in order to photograph them. Same as with larger wildlife. It is bad enough that we have to consume each other for our existence without using other creatures for decorative art. And as you pointed out, nature has plenty of ways to balance numbers without our interference. See: Passenger Pigeon for example of vast numbers and how easily they can disappear at the hands of humans…or honey bees for that matter.


  2. makingcamp says:

    Nicely captured!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful little booger and a very nice shot.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such beautiful creatures. I love it that you feature insects, Steve 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. shoreacres says:

    There’s that segmented antenna again. It was only in the last year or so that I learned to differentiate between moths and butterflies by their antennae. There’s so much information in such tiny packages.

    The iriidescence is wonderful. It almost looks artificial. It also made me think (for perhaps the first time in my life) of iridium. Here’s what the wiki says about that:

    “Iridium was discovered in 1803 among insoluble impurities in natural platinum. Smithson Tennant, the primary discoverer, named iridium for the Greek goddess Iris, personification of the rainbow, because of the striking and diverse colors of its salts.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is why I mentioned that they really do look like this, Linda. For anyone not familiar with beetles, and this one in particular, one would assume that I had boosted the colors and saturation.
      I have never given much thought to Iridium either, so thanks for broadening my view.


  6. Andrew says:

    He doesn’t look too secure on the grass, Steve. Better return him to the Dogbane.


    • I did not place him there, Andrew. He was upon the grass of his own accord so I left him where found. This isn’t the first time I have found one elsewhere besides a dogbane stem.


  7. tomwhelan says:

    Excellent image, beautiful color and detail. I haven’t seen any at my favorite dogbane patch this year, I’ve been checking regularly. I’m envious!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is at a reasonably decent size patch, Tom. But I only saw a couple of these on the plants. Maybe they are just coming around although I did see other pictures of them posted earlier on a Facebook insect group’s page.


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