Zenfolio | Bruce Fellman | Menage a trois, beetle-style

Menage a trois, beetle-style

July 13, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

If you're inclined to base your explanations of the "birds and the bees" on what you find in the natural world, then maybe, just maybe, you don't want to tip-toe through the hydrangea blossoms and show delicate viewers what the beetles are doing. There are several different species of the Coleoptera congregation visiting the Lace Cap blooms these days, and no circum-yard navigation is complete without consulting Beetles of Eastern North America, the must-have guide by uber-entomologist Art Evans. These in the photo are a kind of Long-horned Beetle known as Typocerus velutinus—no common name—and they're exceedingly common hydrangeaphiles. They're also, as is common among insects, completely uninhibited in mating matters, and you can often find couples, well, coupled, as they're working the blossoms for pollen. Two—a mommy and a daddy (dad is always on top)—is easy, if perhaps embarrassing, to explain, but here we have a natural history menage a trois. Make of it what you will, and all I can say is that I was glad I didn't have any grandkids with me when I photographed the randy trio. The questions would have been, um, interesting.


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