Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hairy Flower Scarab Beetle

Blue Jay Barrens seems to have had a tremendous hatch of Hairy Flower Scarab Beetles.  I believe this is Trichiotinus affinis.  These guys aren’t easily spooked by close observation and are a lot of fun to watch.

Hairy Flower Scarab Beetles are pollen eaters.  This one looks like a kid who has thrown himself on top of a huge pile of candy.  Most of their time is spent with their mouths pushed down into the flowers.
They must be excellent pollinators.  Every part of the beetle’s body contains some pollen.  The beetle’s habit of moving round and round on the flower head must allow the pollen laden body to pollinate every individual flower in the bunch.

The face seems to amass the greatest build up of pollen.  The accumulation between the antennae is more a solid cake than a collection of individual grains.

Each antenna ends with three elongated segments.  The beetle is able to spread or close the segments at will.  When closed, the segments more resemble a club.

The larvae of Hairy Flower Scarab Beetles develop in rotten wood.  The nearby woodland is full of downed trees that probably provide ideal larva habitat.  I’m guessing that may be part of the reason we have so many of these beetles here.  It’s just a shame there’s nothing more suitable for them to eat and pollinate than the invasive Oxeye Daisy.


  1. Wonderful shots and info. I love this little guy with his face full of pollen.

  2. Wonderful images. They remind me of a child who has gotten into a cake while no one was looking. :)

  3. Thanks Pat.

    Thanks Lois. I would never have done anything like that.