black beetle with white spots
Location: Waikiki Beach, HI
July 26, 2011 8:32 pm
I found a black beetle with white spots on the back. About the width of my thumb and the size of the upper digit of my thumb above the 10th floor on the balcony of my hotel on the beach of Waikiki.
It walked around with ease and flew quickly and strongly into the air above the balcony. Impressive.
I also heard a hard chatter kind of sound – perhaps wings vibrating? This just before it flew away but while still on the concrete surface.
This is some species of Scarab Beetle, but we did not have any luck matching it to any species found on Hawaii. Interestingly, the very comprehensive Insects of Hawaii website only lists two scarabs, which we find highly unusual. Since you are in Honolulu, there is a good chance this Scarab arrived with a tourist or with freight. Hawaii is populated with many invasive exotic species. We believe this Scarab may be in the subfamily Cetoniinae, the Fruit and Flower Chafers. We continued to research and we found a matching image under Hawaiian Insects on BugGuide, and it is identified as Protaetia orientalis. The Entophile website discusses this Invasive Exotic import as having been introduced to Hawaii prior to 2002. In another posting, Entophile cites the Bishop Museum regarding the Oriental Flower Beetle. BugNation has some images of swarms of Oriental Flower Beetles eating fruit.
Thank you for the quick tracking on this one. Sorry another invasive has found a home in Waikiki. Interesting beetle though.