Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Beetles Boring? Darwin didn't think so... he was right on that too.

Disclaimer: These phone shots do not do justice to this awesome uparmored HumVee of an insect.

One day after I destroyed the softer parts of a 3 foot tall, Laurel Oak stump as part of the fence project, this huge beetle showed up on the porch table.
The big stump was all that remained of an oak I cut down about 3 or 4 years ago, because it was too close to the house.

This guy was huge and solid. When I first encountered him, he was so still, I thought he might be dead, but when I tapped him on the Thorax, he spun around to face the threat.
I may have jumped at that point ... actually, the short video clip proves that I jumped ... or at least my finger did.
(video not included, but soon come)

Think for a moment about that beetle's reaction to my tap.
Turning to face the threat ... the gigantic threat of ME.
This would be like Godzilla tapping you on the shoulder and you spinning around to face off with him.

He seems to be a "Stump Borer"(Stenodontes dasystomus)  beetle based on a quick internet search. I think I disturbed him when I peeled away the rotting outer layers of that old oak stump the day before.
I'm still kicking myself for not grabbing the Olympus Tough camera with its killer macro, but apparently I was in lazy photographer mode.

Still, you get the picture ... this is one cool beetle ... not as cool as my red and black Pure Florida carrion beetles, but still worthy of Pure Florida post time.

I couldn't leave him on the red table cloth, so I picked him up ... which took about 2 minutes since every leg ended in a fish hook shaped claw. 
All 6 claws were stuck in the weave of the table cloth. 
Every time I got one free, another foot hook reconnected. Once I solved that puzzle, I dropped him off the porch into the flower bed where he immediately scuttled off under the swamp sunflower plants.

I do love these unexpected encounters... my friend Julie calls them "gifts".
I think she's on to something.


threecollie said...

The creepiness! The crawliness! That is one big beetle! Glad it is on your table and not mine. lol Been meaning to tell you. You know last year I gave datils a go and our summer was so cool that they just couldn't quite set fruit? I wintered one over in the house in a pot and now it has two peppers on it! I am as excited as if they were golden apples. Real ones! Thanks again.

robin andrea said...

That is one very big cool beetle. I hope s/he finds a nice new stump to call home. What a tough little beast of a beetle.

R.Powers said...

Woohoo! New York Datils!

R.Powers said...

Seriously big beetlieness!

Lisa Greenbow said...

What a handsome brute. I love these kinds of gifts.

Suwannee Rose said...

Awesome! Looks like he's well-equipped to take on a stump.

Chris Fooshee said...


Wally Jones said...

This is one of those bugs that makes me think Hollywood hires entomologists to come up with new alien creatures.

Ansley said...

I agree with Julie that those moments are gifts. And dragonflies are beautiful to watch, even when they are part of the cycle of life.