June 28, 2021
Ben here with the Monday edition of #BenInNature presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust!
The delta flower scarab (Trigonopeltastes delta) is named for the distinctive yellow triangle on its pronotum (the little plate right behind the head), which is shaped like the Greek letter delta. It's believed that the delta flower scarab evolved this yellow triangle because it helps deter predators, since it makes the beetle superficially resemble many different wasps!
Delta flower scarabs can be found in the southeastern U.S. from late spring through summer. This particular beetle was spotted at Fairy Stone State Park near the dam. As larvae, these beetles feed on decaying wood and organic matter, and as adults, they feed on rotting fruit and pollen. If you find some in your garden, don't panic! These little guys are important pollinators and are there to help.
Thank you to entomologist extraordinaire Dr. Art Evans for confirming this ID!
Social distancing can be difficult, but it presents a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. In this series of posts, Administrator of Science Ben Williams ventures outdoors to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world. New updates are posted Monday - Friday, with previous posts highlighted on the weekends. This series of posts is made possible thanks to the support of VMNH Corporate Partner Carter Bank & Trust (www.cbtcares.com).
NATURE PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS
If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture (please include location and date of picture) and we'll have our experts help you identify it!