Subject: A long proboscis
Location: Andover, NJ
May 25, 2014 5:00 pm
Hoping you can id this one for me. Found it today on a patch of bee-balm (not blooming yet) and thought it looked like a red milkweed beetle except for the very long proboscis. It was between 1/4 and 1/2 inch in length and the colors in the photo are accurate.
Hope you can help!
Signature: Deborah Bifulco
Your beetle is a Cocklebur Weevil, Rhodobaenus tredecimpunctatus, or another member of the genus, and according to BugGuide: “Breeds in Asteraceae such as cocklebur (Xanthium), ironweed (Vernonia), joe-pye-weed (Eupatorium), ragweed (Ambrosia).” Bee Balm is in the mint family, so we don’t believe this individual was feeding on the plant upon which it was discovered. Perhaps you have some of the identified foodplants in your garden or growing as weeds nearby. We especially like the image with your Cocklebur Weaving beginning to take flight.
Thanks for the iD, Daniel! I actually do have both Joe Pye and ironweed starting to come up around the yard, so perhaps the little guy was just having a rest in the bee balm patch. A very cool looking little bug – glad to know what it is.