Although the head and legs can tell you a lot about an insect, the simplest way to tell a beetle from other insects is from its wings. The forewings of a beetle (called elytra) are hard and cover the back. So when you see an insect with a line down the center where the two elytra meet you can be sure that you are looking at a beetle.
Bees, Wasps and Ants form the insect order Hymenoptera but which two are most closely related?
a) Bees and Wasps
b) Wasps and Ants
c) Bees and Ants
It wasn’t until 2013 that a group of scientists in California answered this long running puzzle. They collected the DNA from hundreds of specimens and sequenced the genomes. The result was unexpected. They discovered that the wasps diverged from a common ancestor at an early stage. The ants and bees continued to evolve together for some time before separating so the answer is, somewhat surprisingly, c) Bees and Ants are most closely related.
These beetles are found in coniferous forests, but in Asia where else may you find them?
a) in a restaurant
b) in a toy shop
c) in a dress shop
This is Julodis pubescens a member of the Buprestidae or Jewel Beetle family. In Asia the wings of some members of this family were used as adornments to clothing and paintings as well as in the jewelry trade so the answer is c) in a dress shop.
The first clue here is in those back legs; they are huge in comparison with the front and middle legs. This tells us that the insect in question is a member of the Orthoptera which includes all grasshoppers, crickets and katydids. The legs of a stick insect are more uniform in size. The second clue is in the antennae sticking out of the front of his head; katydids have long, whip-like antennae (often longer than their body) whereas grasshoppers have much shorter and thicker antennae. So, long back legs + short, thick antennae = answer b) a grasshopper.
If you were to present someone with a bunch of gladioli (such as this Field Gladiolus it would mean a) Give me another chance. If you wish to say ‘Don’t touch me’ you would use Burdock and if you wish to declare ‘I will never forget you’ the a pink Carnation would be appropriate.
Find more flower meanings and other interesting nature facts in the latest Crete Nature post: Say It With Flowers
The answer is b) the black one in the middle. That long, whiffly nose (a bit like an elephant’s trunk) marks him out as a weevil, all of whom have distinctive noses. Weevils are one of about twenty different beetle types. The other two are Soft-winged flower beetles.