Friday, August 15, 2008

Flea Beetle


A very cool beetle for your consideration.

Photographed at Santa Anna National Wildlife Refuge on the Rio Grande River, Texas

Eight-spotted Flea Beetle
Omophoita cyanipennis octomaculata

The adults are very small to moderately sized Chrysomelidae (i.e. among beetles in general they are on the smallish side).

They are similar to other leaf beetles, but characteristically have the hindleg femora greatly enlarged. These enlarged femora allow for the springing action of these insects when disturbed. Flea beetles can also walk normally and fly. Many flea beetles are attractively colored; dark, shiny and often metallic colors predominate.

Adult flea beetles feed externally on plants, eating the surface of the leaves, stems and petals. Under heavy feeding these holes may coalesce into larger areas of damage. Some flea beetle larvae (e.g. of Phyllotreta species) are root feeders.

In adverse weather conditions (rain, for example) some flea beetles seek shelter in the soil. At least a few species(Phyllotreta cruciferae and P. striolata) prefer warm, dry weather. The German name Erdflöhe (literally "earth fleas") refers to their jumping ability and this behavior of hiding in the soil.

Troy and Martha

For those that want a little more information:

From: Texas Entomology - Texas Beetle information

Range: Arizona, Kansas, Texas, Florida, West Indies, Mexico, Central America (Riley et al. 2003)

Hosts: Polyphagous (Mignot 1970; Clark et al. 2004)

Similar Species:

This genus includes about 50 species found throughout the Neotropics (Arnett et al. 2002), but only Omophoitacyanipennis octomaculata occurs in the United States (Riley et al. 2003)

Type Specimen:

Original combination: Oedionychis octamaculata Crotch, 1873
Current name Omophoita cyanipennis octomaculata

Etymology: Omophoita cyanipennis octomaculata (Crotch)

omo (G). The shoulder; unripe, raw
phoita ?
cyan, -e, -i, -o (G). Dark blue
penn, =a, -ati, -i (L). A feather; a wing; feathered
oct, -i, -o (L). Eight
=macula, -t (L). Spot; spotted

Biology: George Robert Crotch (1842 - 1874) was a British entomologist.

Beetles (Coleoptera) » Water, Rove, Scarab, Longhorn, Leaf and Snout Beetles (Polyphaga) » Long-horned and Leaf Beetles (Chrysomeloidea) » Leaf Beetles (Chrysomelidae) » Skeletonizing leaf beetles (Galerucinae) » Flea Beetles (Alticini) » Omophoita » Eight-spotted Flea Beetle (Omophoita cyanipennis)

Posted for your viewing enjoyment and
those visiting from Camera Critters.



AphotoAday said...

That's really a great shot...
Quite a creature...

Best regards, Don.

Bob Johnson said...

Very informative, learning lots both in photography and insects, cool shot.

Louise said...

I thought I was at Nature in the Ozarks for a minute! GREAT shot of a very cool, indeed, bug!

Jo's-D-Eyes said...

heeh Troy and Martha.

this is really a fun beetle to me! And you are really informative (good for my english too) imagine that I cannot know all the names of animas/flies in our language,

I will not forget that you helped me out with signmein for SWF, thats reall blog friendship!

Happy weekend and Birthday!
My dear friends, from JoAnn

kjpweb said...

Great capture! Good detail and colors! Cheers, Klaus

Stacey Olson said...

What a wonderful little bug. People always look at me funny because I am always picking up little beetles and other small bugs and handing them to my children, and vice`versa, No words exchanged, just eye contact and then their eyes light up as they study them and off they go..Not sure when this started, but as they get older these moments are more and more precious to me.. the smaller the bug the happier my 10 yr old is.. lol.. thanks Troy and Martha,, have a beautiful weekend.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! What a great capture that is:D Love it!

ratmammy said...

great close up!

bobbie said...

That's a pretty beetle, but sounds pretty destructive.

photowannabe said...

Terrific closeup and I have learned something today. I had never heard of this tiny creature . Fascinating.

Teena in Toronto said...

Wow! What a cool shot!

I played too ... come see my bald Chia kitty :)

Anonymous said...

That fella should have been in PhotoHunt also - amazing colours.

Doug Taron said...

Excellent photo pf a stiking species. My entomology friend John, whom I go collecting with, is an expert in the Chrysomelidae. He's taught me a lot about them.

Kahshe Cottager said...

I have never seen one of these before. I would have mistaken it for a ladybug I think!

Have a wonderful weekend!
My Camera Critters Here and Here

Misty DawnS said...

That is one AWESOME beetle!!! I really enjoyed this post - I learned a lot and I got to stare at a beautiful photo of a really cool critter!

Carletta said...

Wonderful macro shot!

i beati said...

you are definitely correct - a beauty as are the rainbows- love your blog sandy

Anonymous said...

Great information about the very beautiful bug. Thanks for sharing that!

I joined Camera Critters, too! HERE is where I posted my entry. Happy weekends!

Cath said...

There is so much work gone into this post. Thank you. It truly is interesting to not only see different critters around the world, but also to learn a bit about them. I had no idea this beetle existed!

Thanks for sharing.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Wonderful photo of this tiny insect and lots of interesting (if mostly unpronounceable) information. Now... if I can just find a way to include "Omophoita cyanipennis" in a conversation! To do that, I probably need to be talking to Marvin at Nature in the Ozarks!
Truly, T & M, I enjoyed the post, and really liked the explanation of how the creature received its name.
Reading blogs can be very educational. :)

Rambling Woods said...

I am into insects this summer so this is perfect for me..

Unknown said...

A stunning photo of a beautiful bug. Thanks for the information.

My critter is here

Janet said...

What a great closeup of a tiny creature.

Pappy said...

Nothing like a pretty flea beetle to get the old pulse racing in the morning. hee hee Pappy

Rhea said...

Very cool beetles, and I love learning all that info about them. Very neat, thanks for sharing!

EG CameraGirl said...

Kind of pretty for a beetle. ;-) Thanks for sharing information about them with us.

storyteller said...

What an intriguing little beetle! Thanks for sharing your photo and the additional information today.
Hugs and blessings,

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Troy: That is a cool shot of the beetle, very nicely captured.

Kelly said...

Wonderful photos of the beetle! He's a cute little bug! I enjoyed learning about them!

Also, I enjoyed your photos of the San Juans islands! My SkyWatch Photos post are of the San Juans in Washington too!

Hope you had a great trip!

Marvin said...

I always have a few choice words to say when I flea beetle takes a flying leap while I'm trying to photography it. They are quick to spook. Great capture.