Coleoptera (Beetles)

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Flea Beetle (Disonycha conjugata)

One of the largest flea beetles (Family Chrysomelidae; Subfamily Galerucinae; Tribe Alticini (Flea Beetles)

This species is said to feed on Polygonum spp.


Shown on Florida Native Plant: WILD LIME; LIME PRICKLYASH (Zanthoxylum fagara)



CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Tumbling Flower Beetle (Mordella knulli)

endemic to Florida (

Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
No Taxon (Series Cucujiformia)
Superfamily Tenebrionoidea (Fungus, Bark, Darkling and Blister Beetles)
Family Mordellidae (Tumbling Flower Beetles)
Tribe Mordellini

“Larvae are believed to eat plant material in decaying wood, etc. Some are leaf and stem miners. Some are predaceous. Adults visit flowers.”

Per Texas A&M Entomology Dept.:

“Tumbling flower beetles can be very abundant on flowers especially those in the carrot family (Umbellifera) and aster family (Compositae). The larvae feed in stems and dead wood. The pointed tip of the abdomen gives the family a second common name, the spinetailed beetles.”

Shown on Florida Native Plant: BLACKBERRY (Rubus sp.)


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Colorful Foliage Ground Beetle (Lebia viridis)

This pretty blue beetle is relatively small. Beneficial. Size in photo is deceiving (macros shot)

Family Carabidae – Ground Beetles
Subfamily Harpalinae
Supertribe Harpalitae
Tribe Lebiini
Subtribe Lebiina

genus Predatory on small insects; some parasitize leaf beetle larvae (

adults in this genus feed on eggs and early instar larvae of prey

More on predatory behavior: (pg 16)

Adults minor pollination


florida species in this genus

Shown on Florida Native Plant:  PINEBARREN GOLDENROD (Solidago fistulosa)

My take:


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Pygmy Chafer Beetle (Strigoderma pygmaea)

This little guy jumped down from the Thistle to rest on some dried debris mixed in with fogfruit.

Family Scarabaeidae – Scarab Beetles
Subfamily Rutelinae – Shining Leaf Chafers
Tribe Anomalini

Adults in the Subfamily Rutelinae (Shining Leaf Chafers) feed on foliage and fruit. Larvae feed on roots and decaying vegetation.

Shown on Florida Native Plant: : TURKEY TANGLE FOGFRUIT; CAPEWEED (Phyla nodiflora)


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Children’s Lady Beetle (Exochomus childreni childreni)

New to my buggy life list. This MINISCULE ladybug was barely visible to the eye as it is the size of a pin head, maybe 2-3 mm

Two prominent dots on the rear, completely black face.

How it got its common name plus great drawings:

Diet: Predatory Species – Feeding on aphids and Scale Insects

Key predators of nymphal Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri


Learn more:

Shown on Florida Native Plant: NUTTALL’S THISTLE (Cirsium nuttallii)


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY:  Cottonwood Leaf Beetle (Chrysomela scripta)

Oh how I wish this guy (gal?) was feeding on this invasive cogon grass.  Wouldn’t that just be a win/win.  Unfortunately, I believe it was just resting probably looking for a member of the Populus genus (Cottonwood) from which it derives it common name.  Other hosts include Willows (Salix spp.)

“Infested trees rarely die from cottonwood leaf beetle defoliation.”
“Handpick beetles off trees if possible.”


My take: