The Fabulous Two-Course Meal

There once was a beetle named Bill
who found pollen to be quite a thrill.
But the petals appealed,
so he sat for a meal
and proceeded to eat to his fill.


Comments always are welcome. Thanks to Blaine Mathison at BugGuide.Net for the identification of the beetle: a member of the genus Strigoderma. The flower is Argemone albiflora, the white prickly poppy.

42 thoughts on “The Fabulous Two-Course Meal

    1. Aren’t they something? I found a bright green metallic beetle recently that was outfitted with the same sort of antennae, so I’m going to see if the folks over at BugGuide confirm my hunch that it’s also Strigoderma.

      Speaking of lagniappe, I found the green metallic beetle on a basket-flower. They finally showed up, and I found accessible stands of them south of town at an abandoned HL&P generating plant.

      1. And we were surprised to see basket-flowers in ditches along some highways in New Mexico as we headed south for home. While some of the plants up there had gone to seed, others still had fresh flower heads. I suspect the ones in central Texas are long gone.

    1. There are times when nature is so improbable, so unexpected, that the only thing to do is laugh. Of course, the fishermen under the Colorado River bridge laughed, too, when they asked what I was doing and I told them I was watching a beetle eat a poppy.

    1. They eat faster than I ever imagined they could, too. I knew that caterpillars can work fast, but these flower beetles are something else. I don’t find them often, but it’s always a treat when I do.

    1. I wonder if flower beetles consider those half-eaten petals as “leftovers,” and come back to them later? Or do they see a flower-filled ditch as a buffet, and just keep moving on down the line, sampling as they go? Inquiring minds want to know! (I’ll bet someone has studied it.)

    1. Or the Holi festival in Houston — sponsored by Masala Radio and held at –where else? Houston Farm and Ranch. There are more Indians here than you might think, some beautiful Hindu temples, and lots of great festivals and food.

      Friend beetle certainly did in the flower, didn’t he? It occurred to me that if you eat the dinnerware, you’ve eliminated one task.

    1. That’s my philosophy, Yvonne. Good food is one of the pleasures of life — for everyone, I’d think, including this fellow. Glad you enjoyed the photos. This is a perfect example of why I started this blog. It might have been some time before I could fit a flower-eating beetle into a post at The Task At Hand, but he fits in here just fine.

      By the way, tomorrow begins Pollinator Week. I’ve never known there was such a thing, but I’m going to be posting butterflies, bees, and who-knows-what, if not daily, pretty close. Since they’re your favorites, I thought I’d mention it.

    1. More stories, yes — but not with this fellow. You’ve seen nearly all the photos I have of him, now. But there are other handsome and interesting critters lurking around, and some lovely flowers, so we’ll not run out for a while.

  1. I’ve been writing limericks this year, too. A friend challenged his facebook friends to write either a haiku or a limerick as their birthday greeting for him. I took on the limerick and have since written several of varying quality. It’s a good way to use my brain a little differently. At least I amuse myself! :)

    1. That’s quite a challenge your friend offered, but a good one. Limericks are wonderful fun, and there’s not a thing in the world wrong with amusing ourselves. I think they limber up the brain, too: maybe even more than haiku. I find myself thinking more with haiku. Limericks generally just pop up, and even if I start with only a line or two, I usually can finish one up in my head. If it just doesn’t work? No harm done, and I toss it away.

    1. It’s been years since I’ve seen that one. Of course i had to do a little bouncing from one to another. I still love the sound of the Maxwell House coffee perking. If they’d bring back that ad, I’ll bet they’d sell more coffee.

    1. I’d love to hear that. Bee and bird sound effects are easy, but I’m not sure I’ve ever heard beetle sound effects. Of course, you could add the sound of him pushing back from the table, or chomping through the petal. You’ll come up with something. I have full confidence in story-teller you!

    1. I know you’re fond of limericks, Debbie. I’m glad you enjoyed this one, although I suppose we’ll never know whether Bill got stuck with the bill.

    1. I’m growing rather more fond of beetles than I ever thought possible. Of course, the cute little antennae on this genus are special. They make me think of the Tele-Tubbies, and laugh.

    1. I’m enjoying my macro lens more than I ever imagined possible. It’s like having a window into unexpected — and sometimes quite dramatic — little worlds. One nice thing about beetles is that they’re usually busy with some project, and are easier to photograph. Bumblebees are a little slower, too, but butterflies, dragonflies, and just plain old flies? All of that flying around is hard to catch.

  2. Macro lenses open up a whole new world in a couple of ways. Our vision has expanded beyond our imaginations.
    I am witnessing the same thing while watching my monarch caterpillar devour the milkweed that gives it both sustenance and protection from most predators.

    1. Isn’t it wonderful? And there are so many things going on at each plant. I couldn’t believe it when I found a couple of lady bugs chowing down on aphids on a milkweed plant. I’d never had such a close look at aphids. I can’t say they’re exactly cute, but they’re certainly more interesting as individuals than I’d have imagined.

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