Sunday, October 3, 2010

western spotted cucumber beetle
Diabrotica undecimpunctata

I don't have a garden, so I don't despise these beetles. I appreciate their stylish green beauty. Funny thing about these spotted cucumber beetles, they're camera shy. Every time I tried to take a picture of an individual, it would quickly walk to the other side of the stalk and yet rarely fly away. It became a game of chasing the beetle around the ol' corn stalk, as it were. I understand this species overwinters as an adult. Evans and Hogue state there are two species of Diabrotica in CA, but they neglect to state the other species. I only have one embedded link in the ID above, because most internet searches provide pest management protocols, which I try to avoid on Nature ID if I can help it.

Speaking of links, I also try to stay away from commercial business promotions. However, we were at Earthbound Farms on Carmel Valley Road this afternoon when I took these pictures. We had a lovely time exploring their annual corn maze, flower garden, children's garden, herb garden, and small store. Their humble farm stand has developed over the years into a pleasant destination. There were so many cucumber beetles on the corn that I'm fairly sure they're honest when they say they're organic. So, why do I mention honesty in all of this? Well, there was a local fracas a couple years back. As the story goes, they trespassed onto a Carmel Valley resident's yard and stripped her rare pink-fleshed apple tree to obtain propagation cuttings without her permission and then lied about it to the sheriff's office. I know several people who now refuse to patronize this fabulous farm stand. It's really too bad. What's that saying, a rotten apple spoils the barrel?


biobabbler said...

Great shots of that beautiful creature! =)

John W. Wall said...

I loved the beetle, but Earthbound Farms oughtta be glad I'm not on that jury. ;)

Nature ID said...

Thanks, both!

bb, the green of the corn was a-MAIZE-ing, like spring's first green, not something you'd see in autumn.

John, she got 6 figures and 150+ trees. I haven't heard what she's done with all the trees. I'm still unsure how I feel about Earthbound since there are also many decent folks who have worked very hard the honest way to make the company extremely successful.