Thursday, October 01, 2009

Sticky Lip and Friends

An oak tree along our road out is oozing a watery sap. From bubbles and smell of the sap, I'd say the oak has a hollow inside where the sap is fermenting. The tree splits into two trucks about three feet off the ground. I'd speculate it was damaged in last winter's ice storm. Regardless, a wide variety of insects from butterflies to beetles are feasting on the sap. Below are a few of the sap-feeders I've been able to at least partially identify.

Four-spotted Sap Beetle (Glischrochilus quadrisignatus): According to BugGuide the scientific name for this genus of beetle is formed from the Greek glischro, meaning sticky, plus chilus, meaning lip. Sticky Lip seems and appropriately descriptive name for a sap-feeding beetle.

Picnic Beetles is the common name for these beetles because they are often attracted to sodas and, especially, beer consumed outdoors.

Longhorned Beetle (Neoclytus sp.) Probably an Ash Bore, but I'm not certain.

Scarab Beetle: Fruit and Flower Chafer (Euphoria sp.) According to BugGuide, "Adults visit flowers for pollen and/or nectar. Also take rotting fruit." Obviously, adults also like fermented sap.

A faded and torn Hackberry Emperor Butterfly (Asterocampa celtis). Often feed on sap as well as fluids from dung and carrion.

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Jeannette StG said...

Marvin, I love the flower fly, and I'm asking your permission to paint it sometime. Please let me know, when I post it on any blog, I want to make sure I give you acknowledgment:)
(since I have several projects going, I can't say "when", but I'll alert you when it's done).

Jackie said...

What a smorgasbord for all of those insects! I didn't know fermenting sap attracted so many kinds of insects. Fascinating.

Marvin said...

Jeannette: You have my permission to paint the flower fly. It will be exciting to see what an artist can do with my image.

Zhakee: This "sap run" has been going on for about a week. It's interesting to see what insects are feeding each day.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

An interesting convention of sap suckers.

Helen said...

That sure is a lot of different variety of insects sipping that sap. Must be good LOL. I haven't seen a butterfly like that one around here but I would think it would be pretty. Guess it finds food where it can. Helen

tess said...

Wow! What a treasure trove here. These photographs are wonderful and the information appears sound.

laughingwolf said...

amazing what you find, thx marvin :)

WR said...

How nice thaqt you looked up some information about each of these insects. I learned a bit extra and I love the photos.

Lana Gramlich said...

The scarab beetles remind me of horseshoe crabs. Very cool.