Dogbane Beetle

Here is a ferocious looking dogbane beetle who sat on the edge of the deck rail watching me work this past Saturday. I figure if he got to sit there and make fun of me then I had every right to get a few close-up pictures. Of course, he reared up and tried to scare me away. However, I was working to finish an earlier job on the floor around the door that Charlotte expected me to have done. I am more scared of her than I am of any dogbane beetle. Needless to say, his flailing had no impact on my activity.

This beetle’s colors shine in the sunlight. He is an iridescent blue-green with a metallic copper, golden or crimson shine. We have only seen a couple of these around here. Reportedly, they eat dogbane and milkweed. But I saw one last week chewing on petunia petals. You can see two sets on pincers around his mouth where he pulls the petal material apart. These beetles grow to a little less than half an inch in length and they have a distinctly oval shape.


    1. There are some of those around here too. They have white furry patches on the lower side of their shell and some dots on their rear end – probably a spider mimic when viewed from that angle. Otherwise they look very similar.


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