Subject: Unidentified Flying Object?
Location: Cumberland, MD (Western Maryland Mountains)
July 4, 2013 9:03 am
Hi! I found this quite interesting looking ”fellow” on my back porch resting on a blind, near a bug light. I was intrigued by the four black ”dots” on its hard shell. He only popped out his head for a few brief seconds, so I am not able to describe it very well. He was approximately 3/4” long. The coloring of his ”shell” appears slightly darker in the picture. I live in the mountains of Western Maryland and have seen my fair share of insects and critters, but no one seems so have seen one of these types of beetles before. I did not want to injure him, so I did not capture him and have not seen him again; but I am curious if you would be able to identify him for me.
Thanks so much and I love your website!!!
Dear Lover of All Creatures Great and Small,
Your beetle is a Grapevine Beetle, Pelidnota punctata, and individuals often vary greatly in coloration, from pale cream to dark orange. More northern reports tend to be darker in coloration, in our opinion. If you count the spots more carefully, you should see six on the elytra and two more on the thorax.