Phanaeus difformis

…a species dung beetle (Scarabaeinae) that is native to the southwestern United States and Mexico. Adults are typicall active from April to October and are often seen in open areas with sandy soils. Like the related P. vindex P. difformis will dig burrows beneath animal excrement and lay their eggs in the excrement. The grubs will then feed on the excrement until they pupate.


Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Coleoptera-Polyphaga-Scarabaeoidea-Scarabaeidae-Scarabaeinae-Phanaeus-P. difformis

Images: Seth Patterson and Steven Barney


etsyfindoftheday | CURATION BLITZ 3 | 2.6.14

requested by: backwardspages
looking for: a long necklace with an animal pendant (on the cheaper side)

FEATURE: leanimale specializes in totems and sweet totem jewelry. all of these necklaces are just $29! they come on 20” chains.

other long animal necklace finds:

aaaaaand, if you’re looking for something that is less literal, check out the long feathery pieces at noemiah. love love love. be sure to let me know if you need more ideas!



Melanocanthon bispinatus

sometimes known as the “Tumble Bug” Melanocanthon bispinatus is a species of scarab beetle (Scarabaeinae) that is native to Eastern North America. Adult M. bispinatus are active from April to July and have a varied diet which ranges from fungi to the dung of various animals. 


Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Coleoptera-Polyphaga-Scarabaeoidea-Scarabaeidae-Scarabaeinae-Canthonini-Melanocanthon-M. bispinatus

Images: Mark Moran and Cotinis

White Scarab Beetle (Cyphochilus insulanus, Melolonthinae)

Cyphochilus is a genus of beetle with an unusually bright white body, occurring in Southeast Asia. The whiteness of its body is caused by a thin layer of a highly reflective natural photonic solid in its scales and has nothing to do with pigment. The secret is in the size of the filaments of which the scales are made and the spacing between the filaments. This structure scatters light in an unusually efficient manner. Unlike colours, which can be created by using highly ordered structures to scatter light, white is created by a random, simultaneous scattering of light.

It is believed that the beetle’s whiteness has evolved to mimic local white fungi as a form of camouflage while it feeds on sugar cane but science’s recent interest in this genus of beetles centres around how the secret of its colour can benefit humans. In the future, the paper we write on, the colour of our teeth and even the efficiency of the rapidly emerging new generation of white light sources like LEDs will be significantly improved if technology can take and apply the design ideas we learn from these beetles.

This individual is also host to an entourage of orange immature mites. (Newly hatched larval stages of mites are six-legged. Later nymphal stages, and of course the adults, have eight legs.)

by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr.
Pu’er, Yunnan, China

See more Chinese beetles on my Flickr site HERE…..


I’m So Dung With You- by me!! That’s my given name! This is for a club project at school so I didn’t use “Esabelle Ryngin”.

I posted a preview earlier this week, but here’s the finished comic with the latter half of the story! No matter how incredible scarabs are, lots of people can’t seem to get past the whole “eating and living in poop” thing…

If you’re in the Delaware area, this comic will be included in a solid booklet sold at UD’s Ag Day on April 25th, with another piece by me and some by my new friend and fellow Entomology club member, Kasandra!


Rainbow Scarab (Phanaeus vindex)

…a species of dung beetle that is native to North America, ranging from the east to the Rocky Mountains. Noted for its impressive ‘rainbow’ coloration this species is easily recognizable. Like other dung beetles this species will locate and move dung. Males and females will work in pairs to dig burrows beneath animal dung. After the burrows are complete they will move the dung into the tunnel, where the female will lay her eggs in it. The grubs will then feed on the dung until they pupate.



Image(s): David Almquist


Beetle (Coleoptera) Portraits

Generally I tend to photograph beetles from the side, or from above, to show their distinctive shape; what entomologists call ‘habitus’. This refers to the build or overall morphology of the organism. It is sometimes nice to take their picture as you would a friend - of their face, from the front. It is interesting how it can be easy to interpret (I definitely think over interpret!) human characters or emotions in them. In this bunch I see cute, coy and even evil or untrustworthy. Can you guess which ones I attribute these to?

The Faces of Many Little Things!