Monday, 5 October 2015

Day 325 - Plentifully Bountiful Pollen Beetles!

Pollen Beetle (Meligethes aeneus)
Hey everyone, today's Day 325 and I always think that you can find so much right your doorstep. Literally! These lovely critters I found just in my front garden! Yesterday and Day 323, I started a mini-series of creatures that are rather simply named. Such as yesterday with the Heart & Dart Moths, and the day before with the Silver Y-Moth. So today I am covering, not a Moth, but the a beetle I saw in the summer. When I looked at my photos I thought I ought to cover them as the flowers they are on are very colourful and after quite a grey day I thought that was quite nice. Today I'm looking at Pollen Beetles.

So, here are the facts:
On a Feverfew flower

  • There are 16 different families that are counted in the name 'Pollen Beetles'. The real name for them is Coleopatra. (No, not Cleopatra. That's completely different!)
  • Now, I don't need to tell you what their name means as it`s pretty obvious. But I will. Basically they feed on an awful lot on pollen!
  • The usual victims (and victors) of pollen beetles are Sweet Peas, Runner Beans, Narcissuseseses (lol) and Roses. They rather liked the Verbascum in my garden too.
  • The most common one is the one that some people call the 'Thunderbug'. There are lots of others that are black, yellow and all sorts of combinations of the two.
  • These Pollen Beetles in the photo are only about 2mm - 3mm long! They are black and dark green and look rather shiny.
Sharing the Verbascum with hoverflies
  • They're very common at a couple of points in the year. After hibernating they emerge to feed mate and lay eggs so you first see them between March and May.
  • They start to lay eggs from April and larvae emerge in May and June before the adults are on the wing again in July and August. 
  • It seems they hibernate after August and that seems a long hibernation.
  • I found a lot of information on how to control them when searching as it seems the larvae are a bit of a pest to farmers and they do eat crop but some Gardeners don't like them but the adults don't harm the flowers the feed on and in fact help pollination.
  • They are attracted to the colour Yellow so are often seen chomping on pollen in fields of Oil Seed Rape.
Also see them out and about - here on a bit of
unusual pink Hogweed at Silton Forest (zoom in required)
  • In Cambridge there was a swarm of these little critters during the last summer - literally billions of them descended. 
  • They didn't do any damage but there were lots of reports of people being hit in the face by them when they were on their bikes! 
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. Lovely post and these photos are stunning Zach! - Tasha