Posts Tagged ‘Japanese beetle’

kaufman field guide

Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America by Eric R. Eaton & Kenn Kaufman. Houghton Mifflin, 2007.

My interest in insects is modest. Like many people, I find mammals easier to appreciate! However, insects are so plentiful, it is impossible not to come across them … pretty much everywhere! Insects are vital members of ecosystems. The incredible diversity of insect species is amazing. Also amazing is the ingenuity with which evolution has equipped so many different species to so many specialized niches. The best guide I’ve found for identifying the insects I come across is the Kaufman guide by Eric Eaton. The introduction provides good background information on the classification of insects, their anatomy, reproduction and development, and more. The guide is well-illustrated with more than 2,300 images and the organization of the guide makes it simple to locate the insect you are looking for. Below are a few insects that I was able to identify with the guide.

Pennsylvania Leatherwing

Pennsylvania Leatherwing

Soldier beetles (family Cantharidae) are also known as leatherwings. These valuable pollinators are attracted to flowers, and can be abundant during the day on their preferred plant. The Pennsylvania Leatherwing (Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus) is commonly found on goldenrod and thoroughwort in the east in autumn. The photo above, showing them on goldenrod, was taken last fall.


Squash bugs belong to the Coreidae family, which includes leaf-footed and broad-headed bugs. They’re pests of gourds, pumpkins and other types of squash. They feed on foliage using piercing and sucking mouthparts. Later in the season, they may also feed on the squash itself. I found these squash bugs (Anasa tristis) on a squash last fall. Although there were quite a few bugs on the plant, they didn’t damage this squash.


I visited the Central Experimental Farm Garden, where Felicitas Svedja once produced her hybrid roses, in Ottawa a few weeks ago. A few of the roses in the display garden were heavily infested with these colourful beetles. When I got home, I looked them up in my Kaufman Guide. They’re Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica). They’re native to Japan and northern China and were introduced to New Jersey in 1916 on nursery stock. They are now found throught the eastern U.S. and southeastern Canada. The adults feed in groups on a wide range of plants, but they are obviously fond of roses, skeletonizing the leaves.

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