15 August 2008

Pelidnota punctata: grapevine beetle


I saw this big beetle (~25 mm long) on a sidewalk yesterday in College Park, Maryland. It kept opening its wings, but couldn't get itself off the ground. I also see in the picture that it may have been missing most of its right front leg. I think my Pelidnota punctata had seen better days and was on its way out.

My insect books narrowed the identification down to a couple of species and then, using the abundant pictures on BugGuide.net, I was able to select the grapevine beetle as the correct one. I have also posted this picture here on BugGuide.net.

Note that the legs of this specimen were brown; if you go thru the pictures on BugGuide.net, you will notice that there is a variety (different species?) that has black legs.

As its name implies, the grapevine beetle is supposed to feed on grapes. But I found this outside of a small wooded area. I don't think there were any grape plants in the vicinity.

Note added in the evening: Coincidentally, Myrmecos Blog also had a Pelidnota punctata picture today. That specimen has black legs and the wing covers seem to be more orange than those of my specimen.

1 comment:

Mike O'Risal said...

They may prefer grapes, but Pelidnota punctata can readily subsist any almost any fruit, including apples, bananas and raspberries. Judging by the area in which you found it, I'd suspect it to have been eating the latter.