The tricky Small Hive Beetle.
One of the many banes of the bee keepers, Aethina tumida.
Small things … about the size of half an eraser head. These beetles smell like bees and even sometimes get fed by bees. It is not the adults that are the problem to the bee keeper it is ….the bad habits of the babies. Once established in the hive, they are hard to get out of the hive or eliminate without eliminating the bees too. You can thank global transportation as these beetles traveled from their native Africa and now are found throughout North America. Specimen from the Francisco Posada…bee whisperer and beetle wrangler for USDA, Beltsville.
All those facts are well and good, but I just like looking at them. So nicely and cleverly put together. The deep maroon blending to a soft venous blood, bilaterally mounded and curved in proportions unexplainably beautiful beyond simple notions of golden means. Underneath, a package of interlocking plate-like legs, well-protected in self-contained transformer armor. All around prickled in curtains of pits that help flick bits of light from the folds of the bounced flash. If that were 6 feet tall we would certainly worship it as a god.