Diabrotica but not diabolical
When I got close to some Texas mountain laurel flowers, Sophora secundiflora, at the Mueller prairie restoration on February 17th I spotted this spotted cucumber beetle, Diabrotica undecimpunctata. Undecim is the Latin word for ‘one [plus] ten,’ which is to say ‘eleven,’ and that’s the number of spots (puncta) on this beetle (what would be the two center spots in the upper row merge). While we’re dealing with numbers, let me add that a cucumber beetle is about the same size as a lady beetle. In the realm of solid geometry, notice how the shape of the beetle mimics the convexity of the petals it’s on.
© 2016 Steven Schwartzman