Subject: Mating Wedge shaped beetles
Geographic location of the bug: Andover, NJ
Time: 04:24 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: I was elated today when I found a male and female M. limbata on my mint. The male was intent on mating with the female and, initially, she rebuffed him. Finally, she allowed him to mount her several times – I guess his fancy head-gear finally won her over. Now, let’s see if I can catch her parasitizing a bee…
How you want your letter signed: Deborah Bifulco
In the words of mom “You have the patience of a saint” and your patience paid off in getting this amazing documentation of mating Wedge Shaped Beetles, Macrosiagon limbata. You submitted the image of the male two days ago and requested an identification, and then you followed that with the image of the female yesterday, and now, bingo.
We believe we have taken the images out of order for our posting because we wanted to open with (please forgive the pornography reference) the money shot to better appeal to our Facebook followers. Thanks again for all of your amazing contributions to our archives over the years. We would also encourage you to post these images to BugGuide which has a much greater reach than our own humble website, because despite six pages of images, they have no shots documenting the mating activity. According to BugGuide: “They go through hypermetamorphosis. The female deposits eggs on flowers frequented by bees. The first instar is a planidum, an active larva capable of climbing on a bee or bumble bee (their hosts). They are transported to the bee nest where they behave as parasitoids. The following instars don’t have legs and feed on the bee larvae and stored pollen and nectar.”
Thanks! I was pretty excited to be able to watch and photograph this – made the humid 90 F day seem suddenly bearable. I’m quite interested in their reproductive cycle and wonder if I will be able to see the larval stage? I’ve definitely got to do some digging to get more information on these fascinating little beetles. It doesn’t seem like there is a lot of information about them.
Thanks for the suggestion on submitting the photos to bugguide – I will definitely do that.
And thanks for being as excited as I was to see this!