Saturday, December 11, 2010

Swamp Thistle

It was very curious one day when I found this dogbane beetle crawling around in a thistle bloom while I was out photographing one day. The thistle plants flower is usually very attractive to a variety of insects.
I have seen many butterflies and bees and even birds at thistle flowers, however the dogbane beetle got his name because they eat primarily dogbane or milkweed but I have not been able to find any record of them eating thistle.

9 comments:

Jidhu Jose said...

beautiful

LC said...

I've always found the thistles to be very beautiful and yet I remove every one I find remotely close to the cultivated gardens! L

eileeninmd said...

Lovely photos and beautiful color.

Luna Miranda said...

marvelous shots of this pretty flower.

lotusleaf said...

Lovely photos. Perhaps the beetle wanted a change of diet :)

Don't Bug Me! said...

Sorry to disappoint, but that is not a dogbane beetle. A dogbane beetle belongs to the family Chrysomelidae, this beetle is some kind of scarab beetle, family Scarabaeidae. Again sorry - I hate to be picky, but I can't quite help myself.

Anonymous said...

"Don't Bug Me" is right. This is
a species of scarab beetle, not
a chrysomelid (leaf beetle).
Hap in New Hope

John said...

Beautiful photos! We have these beetles around our home and often wondered what they were called.

katy said...

That may not be the native swamp thistle, Cirsium muticum, but the non-native and invasive bull thistle, Cirsium vulgare. The bracts are distinctly different between the two, with bull thistle having long, thick spiny bracts, and swamp thistle having spineless bracts that are covered in cobwebby hairs. Most thistles have distinctive bracts that are key to a positive ID.