Beetles & Backswimmers

By far the most commonly seen beetle at the moment is this fellow (right).

I don’t know much about it yet, not even a name, but its in such large numbers that it must be having an important local impact.

Two strikingly coloured beetles around at this time of year are the Golden Stag Beetle (Family Lucanidae, Lamprima aurata?), at right, and the Green Carab Beetle (Calosoma schayeri), below.

“Stag beetle males and females look quite different. Males often have the mandibles greatly enlarged and prolonged forwards, i.e., their common name Stag Beetle. Some adult beetles do not feed while some feed on flowers.Stag Beetle larvae live inside or beneath rotten fallen tree trunk, so they usually found in wetter forest habitats. They feed on mostly very soft, fungus-infested wood. Stag Beetle larvae look similar to Scarab larvae, are grub-like, always live in concealed habitats, sluggish, cylindrical, c-shaped, with a well-developed head.” [from

Ground Beetles

These beetles have long legs and run fast – they’re predators, both in adult and (I think) larval stages. And they leave a strong, pungent smell on your fingers after handling.


Bess Beetles

This large, impressive looking beetle came wandering into the light one evening recently. Its a Bess Beetle (Family Passalidae), probably Aulacocyclus edentulus and probably a female, as its lacking the characteristic single horn of males. Wikipedia has interesting notes on the general biology of Bess Beetles.



Then, cleaning up after a few outside drinks (& overnight rain) this morning, I saw a speck in the bottle-tops I was removing. This Backswimmer (a bug in the Family Notonectidae) chose a very small pond to swim in!

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2 Responses to Beetles & Backswimmers

  1. Denis Wilson says:

    Amazing to find the Backswimmer in a bottle top.
    Nice Beetle shots of the other species.

  2. bert says:

    Hi Denis. Plant productivity this year is beyond belief! Just the sheer numbers of invertebrates around is amazing. Common Brown Butterflies (Heteronympha merope) the most obvious of all, occurring in vast numbers already, so early in the season. And we’ve never had so many mosquitoes – the forest is crawling with them!

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