Tag Archives: Beetles

A new kind of exercise program

This dung beetle was clearly getting a workout pushing its ball of dung up and over the grass and other obstacles. It occurred to me that this could be the next big workout craze. Just make yourself a nice big ball of 100% organic, 100% recyclable dung and push it up and over the sofa, around the living room, through the kitchen. Great exercise and environmentally friendly. What do you think?

Posted in response to Becky’s October Squares challenge theme of ‘Kind.’ See more responses here.

Pu’u Wa’awa’a bench

One of the nice things about the hike up Pu’u Wa’awa’a is the selection of benches available for rest and contemplation, on the way up and at the top. This bench sits halfway up the steep slope that accesses the top of the hill. It gives a good view of Mauna Loa and the pastures on and around Pu’u Wa’awa’a. If you’re lucky, you might even see a dung beetle or three doing what they do.

Pacific beetle cockroach

When I first saw this bug, with its red back and gold sparkles, I thought for sure it was a beetle. But it turns out, it only resembles a beetle. It is in fact a cockroach, which left me with slightly less warm thoughts about it.

But it turns out that the Pacific beetle cockroach is quite interesting. It’s one of a few that are viviparous, meaning that it gives birth to live offspring. A couple of years ago, this cockroach was in the news because the ‘milk’ it feeds its young is a more complete food than cow’s milk and was being touted as the next superfood. Not that cockroach dairies were about to be set up, but the thought was that the protein crystals in the milk could be reproduced in labs.

This hasn’t happened yet, but who knows. I bet Gwyneth Paltrow is out there, milking cockroaches, even as I post this.

Thanks to Hawai’i Insect Identification for help in identifying the Pacific beetle cockroach. For more information about Hawai’i Insect Identification, go to flickr.com/groups/hawaii-insect-id/pool/.

Monkeypod borer beetle

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘A Bug’s Life.’ (See more offerings here.) My last Sunday Stills post could have worked for this one, but instead I’m going with this fine-looking monkeypod borer beetle (Xystrocera globosa), also known as the raintree borer beetle among several alternative names. This longhorn beetle comes from southeast Asia where it is widely distributed.

As is often the case, it’s the larvae of this beetle that cause problems. They don’t tend to harm healthy trees but will bore into the sapwood of monkeypod trees that are distressed by drought or other reasons. While the damage caused is seldom enough to kill an entire tree, it can result in the loss of limbs.

This one hung out on a wall at work for a couple of days before it disappeared, possibly to a nearby monkeypod tree.

Sweetpotato bug

Sweetpotato bug
This bug (Physomerus grossipes) is a fairly recent introduction to Hawaii, most likely sneaking in on an imported plant. It’s from the family Coreidae, otherwise known as leaf footed bugs. It feeds by sucking juices out of various plants, including sweet potatoes. I found this one wandering across a window screen, some distance from anything edible.