My Digital Photography of

Beetles and Other Insects

The following insects were photographed in the Metro-Detroit area, unless otherwise noted.  I have identified them by their scientific names, if known.  If you know the name of any unidentified insects, please e-mail me at  Photographs are sorted so that most recent photos are at the top of the page.

Click here for info about purchasing prints of these photographs.


Click on any photo to see a larger view!


Unknown beetle

Wetzel State Park, September 30, 2017




Unknown insect, possibly a nymph

Rose Oaks County Park, September 23, 2017





Shield Bug, Family Pentatomidae

Resting on an unripe blackberry in my garden on August 11, 2017.





Walking Sticks

October 17 2017, Oak Openings Preserve Metropark

Pair of walking sticks.






August 6, 2017, Oak Openings Preserve Metropark

While heading down the narrowing trail (the white pines are growing and blocking the trail) to cushion moss paradise at Oak Openings Preserve Metropark in Ohio on August 6, 2017, I ran into two Gracilis spiders' webs.  The spiders were on me, as was their web material.  I moved the spiders to tree branches about 4 feet up.  I was just about to brush off what I thought was a twig.  Thankfully, I took a second look.  To my surprise, it was a walking stick entangled in spider webbing.  It didn't move very fast, but I'm not sure that they are supposed to, as this is the first live walking stick I've ever found.  Its dainty rear legs were completely covered in webbing, but I managed to free them without damaging the legs.  I hope it survived and didn't find itself in another web.  Those spiders were all over the forested areas.






Unknown beetle

Found in field area at Indian Springs Metropark on June 25, 2017.




Deer tick, Ixodes

This tick pair was found on Lyle on October 26, 2016.





Unknown beetle

July 24, 2015.  In backyard.  This beetle was very fast and difficult to photograph.








Unknown beetle

May 25, 2015, Highland State Park.





Horned (or Forked) Fungus Beetle, Bolitotherus Cornutus

May 14, 2015, at home.

This crazy thing somehow must have been in the soil I was moving around in a bucket outside, and when I brought the bucket inside and set it by the doorwall, it must have been in there, because several hours later, I found it on its back on the floor by the bucket.  I was working in an area with a lot of dead wood and occasional fungal growth, so it made sense.  This one is a female and doesn't sport the super-cool horns that the male has, but it was still an interesting find.  The strangest thing about these beetles is that they secrete a foul-smelling substance in response to mammalian breath.  I can't say I noticed much of a smell, but when I breathed on her while she was on her back, she did open up the flap at the base of her abdomen that you see in the first three photos.  She is also photographed on one of my woodburned cypress knees and a Cephalocereus senilis (Old Man Cactus).  I let her go in an area with lots of dead wood.














American Oil Beetle, Meloe americanus

October 19, 2014.  Dahlem Conservancy.  These were extremely abundant on the prairie trails.  Many were mating.






Unknown Insect

June 22, 2014.  Waterloo State Park.




Forest Caterpillar Hunter, Calosoma scrutator

June 1, 2014.  Saugatuck Dunes State Park.






Unknown Beetles

May 21, 2014.  Illinois.




Unknown Beetle

August 31, 2013.  Sharon Twp., MI.






March 27, 2012






Unknown cocoon remnants

These remnants were found on July 7, 2010 on a vinyl blow-up frog that was stored in my parents' basement for some time.  I am not sure what type of insect they came from.  The third picture is a different cocoon than the first two.




Japanese Beetle, Popillia japonica

I photographed this quick shot of a japanese beetle where it naturally was eating on August 4, 2008.  Click here for a better photo shoot of a Japanese beetle.



Carpet Beetles (A.K.A. Skin beetle, larder beetle, hide or leather beetle, or khapra beetle), Family Dermestidae (Order Coleoptera)

I can't even begin to tell you how much I hate these things.  I have had to throw out a lot of my artwork and collections of natural items due to these insects.  They seem to get into everything---a cute little taxidermied duckling I used to display in my vine sculpture, my pysanky (to get at a very small portion of egg left inside the shell), my cicadas that were displayed on my family tree sculpture (not to mention every other insect in my collection that was not sealed tight in some kind of enclosure).  They are one of the reasons I have had to give up including insects in my artwork anymore.  They destroy everything and I find their little shed skin shells left behind as evidence.  Here is one of the larvae and an adult beetle.  Notice how the beetle seems to have unusual protrusions all along its wing covers.  It doesn't have a smooth shell like many beetles.  Click here to find out the fate of this beetle.  According to Wikipedia, they do seem to have one good use---they can clean skeletons for natural history museums.









Firefly, Photinus pyralis

I photographed this firefly on June 15, 2008.  It was very fast-moving and kept trying to fly away, so I didn't get many pictures.  I made two animations from a few of the photos.







Ladybug, Coccinella septempunctata

The first time I've ever seen nymphs.  Holland Ponds, July 23, 2017.



I would have thought I'd photographed a ladybug by now, but this is the first one.  These photos were taken on a coriopsis flower and bishop's weed flower on June 14, 2008.











Junebug, Phyllophaga

On June 14, 2008, this junebug was outside on the wall by the light, so I figured I'd photograph it on a peony flower.  Click here to see the previous junebug I photographed.





Cucumber Beetle, Acalymma vittatum

On June 3, 2008, I brought in a few peony flowers with the intent of photographing a half-dead mayfly on them.   However, as soon as I brought them in, this cucumber beetle emerged from the petals, so of course it had to be photographed too.  The beetle even got to meet the mayfly.  Click here to see the mayfly set of photos. 

I even made an animation of the three photos of him flailing around on a petal---it looks like he's either having a seizure or rock-and-rolling.  In any case, it makes me laugh.







Stag Beetle

Brian found this huge 1 1/2" long stag beetle outside walking on the driveway and called me to get it, knowing I'd surely want to photograph it.  It was nighttime, so I waited until next day on July 16, 2007.  Last year, I found two black stag beetles around this time of year.  Today's beetle was a reddish-brown color though.  First, I did the pincer test to see if it was aggressive.  Lucky for me, it was not---no matter how much it was provoked, the pincers were nothing but looks---it wouldn't clamp them down on anything!  Although it was quite a feisty beetle---I had to refrigerate it for a few 5-minute sessions so that it would be calm enough to photograph.  Otherwise, it was wildly flailing about (these beetles aren't too agile on land).  I read a little about stag beetles this time and discovered that the adults either eat rotting wood or nothing at all.  One thing I really like are the fuzzy hairs that cover the division between segments.  I assume they must be to help keep parasites from getting in there.










Masked Hunter, Reduvius personatus

This is the second one of these I've found in my life, but this time, I had a better camera to take it's photograph.  This insect is only about 1/8" long from head to abdomen and is therefore quite difficult to work with.  I photographed this one on July 16, 2007 on a coriopsis flower.  Click here to see the first masked hunter I found.





Grapevine Beetle, Pelidnota punctata

This is the third grapevine beetle I've photographed.  I used to think they were rather rare beetles, but I've been finding them more often lately.  There are some grapevines in my backyard that get pretty out-of-control sometimes, so maybe that's why they're here.  This one was photographed on July 3, 2007 on a coriopsis flower.  Click here to see my first grapevine beetle photosClick here to see the second beetle's photos.




Japanese Beetle, Popillia japonica

I found this Japanese Beetle at my parents' house on July 1, 2007.  I believe they can be quite damaging to some plants, but I forgot which ones.  Even so, I've always enjoyed their iridescent appearance, although it was difficult to capture with my camera and the beetle took off into the air after only a few shots.  These aren't my best work, but so far they're my only photos of a Japanese Beetle.




Very Unusual Nymph

I don't know what kind of nymph this is, but it is one crazy-looking nymph!  I found it on June 25, 2007 while gardening.  You can see some wing buds on it, so it will obviously fly someday.  One of the strangest things I noticed is that it has spikes coming out of its eyes!  What would it be like to see with those spikes right in the middle of your eye?  I would have liked to see what it turned into, but I didn't know what to give it for sustenance so I let it go where I found it in the backyard on a flowering thistle.  It is photographed on a coriopsis flower below.







Grapevine Beetle, Pelidnota punctata

On June 15, 2007, I found a grapevine beetle on my wall outside.  I decided to take some pictures.  This one took off on me unexpectedly and flew so high I couldn't get it back.  Click here to see the other grapevine I photographed previously.




Unknown Beetle

While camping in Nelson, OH, on July 29, 2006, I found this tiny little bug.  It is only about 1/4 inch long.  I tried to get some shots with my close-up lens, but it wasn't sunny enough, so I gave up.  Here are two photos that are somewhat out of focus, but I thought it was such a neat insect I had to post the pictures anyway.

little beetle front view.jpg (98319 bytes)  little beetle top view.jpg (150065 bytes)


Unknown Beetle

Brian found this interesting beetle on the car while we were camping in Nelson, OH at about 1:00 in the morning on July 29, 2006.  The body alone was close to an inch and a half in length!  This was one big beetle.

reddish brown beetle on leaf in air facing forward.jpg (149480 bytes)  reddish brown beetle on leaf in air facing left 2.jpg (145034 bytes)  reddish brown beetle on leaf in air facing left 4.jpg (129051 bytes)  reddish brown beetle on leaf in air facing left.jpg (130989 bytes)

reddish brown beetle on leaf in soil facing right.jpg (134586 bytes)  reddish brown beetle on leaf in soil.jpg (149560 bytes)  reddish brown beetle on leaf underside hairs showing 2.jpg (131515 bytes)  reddish brown beetle on leaf underside hairs showing.jpg (145510 bytes)



Stag Beetle

I found this large black stag beetle outside in my driveway on the night of May 29, 2006.  It was about 1 1/2" long.  I saved it overnight and photographed it on the 30th.  This beetle was very aggressive.  Anything placed inside its pincers was pinched.  I also took a couple movies of this beetle.  Click the links below to see them.

Beetle Walking        Beetle on its Back

black beetle 3 quarter view better.jpg (132551 bytes)  black beetle facing forward outdoor lighting.jpg (142282 bytes)  black beetle front view slightly right 2.jpg (120311 bytes)  black beetle facing left outdoor lighting.jpg (135817 bytes)

black beetle front view 2.jpg (126226 bytes)  black beetle front view slightly right 2 cropped.jpg (138097 bytes)  black beetle top view facing left.jpg (139992 bytes)

black beetle facing left outdoor lighting cropped.jpg (119545 bytes)  black beetle on back view of pincers better.jpg (138408 bytes)  black beetle on back 2.jpg (149612 bytes)  black beetle on back.jpg (143881 bytes)  black beetle 3 quarter view better cropped.jpg (123903 bytes)

When I released the beetle pictured above, I returned to the door only to find another of this same species right there on the ground!  I haven't seen a beetle like this in years and this time, I found two in two days!  So of course, I photographed this one too.  This beetle acted differently than the one above.  It refused to bite at all!  It would stand up tall and open its pincers wide, but I couldn't get it to bite anything.  I'm wondering if it might be a female and the aggressive one might be a male.  When I released the second beetle a day later, the first beetle was almost right where I left it.  The second beetle started walking right towards it.  The next day, both beetles were gone.

blackbeetle2 facing forward top view 2.jpg (141692 bytes)  blackbeetle2 facing left top view.jpg (142063 bytes)  blackbeetle2 on back.jpg (162937 bytes)

blackbeetle2 facing left side view cropped.jpg (148938 bytes)  blackbeetle2 on back cropped.jpg (139684 bytes)  blackbeetle2 facing left side view 2 cropped.jpg (135563 bytes)

blackbeetle2 facing left side view.jpg (145126 bytes)  blackbeetle2 standing tall.jpg (137028 bytes)  blackbeetle2 facing forward top view.jpg (127000 bytes)  blackbeetle2 facing left 3 quarter view jaws wider.jpg (129642 bytes)



Junebug, Phyllophaga

On the evening of May 20th, 2006, a junebug was on my screen door.  I saved it until the next day to photograph.

junebug in flower 2.jpg (119726 bytes)  junebug falling from flower midair cropped.jpg (138204 bytes)  junebug in flower.jpg (116292 bytes)  junebug in flower just about to fall.jpg (136421 bytes)

junebug on clematis flower.jpg (121411 bytes)  junebug leaving flower cropped.jpg (118930 bytes)  junebug on flower back view.jpg (111128 bytes)  junebug on flower top view cropped.jpg (112581 bytes)

junebug behind leaf waving cropped.jpg (147636 bytes)  junebug in shrub cropped.jpg (161978 bytes)  junebug on wood cropped.jpg (153440 bytes)  junebug on clematis stem 2 cropped.jpg (139415 bytes)  junebug on clematis stem upside down cropped.jpg (121642 bytes)


Pillbug, Armadillidium vulgare

On April 2, 2006, I photographed a couple pillbugs found underneath some dead cannas plants.  Technically, they are more closely related to shrimp and lobsters than insects since they belong to the phylum Arthropoda.  Notice that they have 7 pairs of legs.  These two were found curled in a ball since it was only about 50 degrees Fahrenheit outside.  They warmed up quickly in my hand though and were moving almost too quickly to get any good photographs.

black sowbug on back 2 cropped.jpg (105725 bytes)  black sowbug on back curled cropped.jpg (94521 bytes)  black sowbug on back cropped.jpg (110351 bytes)

black sowbug on pinecone 2 cropped.jpg (121040 bytes)  two sowbugs.jpg (137183 bytes)  black sowbug on pinecone cropped.jpg (140763 bytes)


Shield Bug, Family Pentatomidae

During the wintertime, shield bugs seek warm shelters indoors.  That was certainly the case with this one I found in my bedroom on January 5, 2006.  They don't bite, so they are harmless to humans.  They suck juices out of plants, so they won't hurt your clothes either.  They are also called stink bugs because they smell bad when you squish them (I wouldn't know what it smells like exactly because I would never do that to a bug).  

stinkbug full view facing right cropped.jpg (107098 bytes)  stinkbug full view cropped.jpg (100327 bytes)  stinkbug top view cropped.jpg (104661 bytes)

stinkbug closeup lens.jpg (116518 bytes)  stinkbug closeup lens head in focus cropped.jpg (107266 bytes)  stinkbug closeup lens showing wing texture cropped.jpg (114335 bytes)  stinkbug closeup lens showing pores cropped.jpg (96063 bytes)


Red Spider Mite

This red spider mite scurried around on the lichen I was photographing with my close-up lens in September 2005.  I couldn't believe I actually got a fairly clear picture of one of these creatures.  They are smaller than a sharp pencil point and look like a moving red dot to the human eye.

lichen closeup spider mite best cropped.jpg (102333 bytes)  lichen closeup spider mite best cropped twice.jpg (85463 bytes)


Grapevine Beetle, Pelidnota punctata

On the night of my 30th birthday, this interesting beetle was hanging out on my screen door.  I haven't seen one of these in about 8 or 9 years, when I also found one on my screen door.  I discovered they are called grapevine beetles and are from the family Scarabeidae (the same as scarab beetles).  I do have some wild grapevine that has been a nuisance since I moved in.  I am always cutting down its vines.  These are very strong beetles.  It took me about 5 minutes to pry it off the screen (I didn't want to break its legs).  When I had it holding on to my finger, every time I made a sudden movement, I could feel all of its legs gripping even tighter.  I wanted to take better photos of it in the sunlight the next day, but it was too strong for the container I had it in and escaped overnight.  So here are the photos I took that night with the flash.

beetle front view antennae out.jpg (116069 bytes)  beetle front view antennae partially retracted 2 cropped.jpg (127393 bytes)  beetle top view both antennae out.jpg (109276 bytes)

beetle front view antennae out cropped.jpg (132471 bytes)  beetle head closeup vertical.jpg (136285 bytes)  beetle top view both antennae out cropped.jpg (131613 bytes)

beetle top view one antenna out.jpg (127704 bytes)  beetle top view antennae retracted.jpg (135492 bytes)  beetle front view antennae partially retracted.jpg (110888 bytes)


Masked Hunter, Reduvius personatus

I found this unusual specimen on my kitchen counter on July 9, 2005.  I've never seen anything like it.  I had to use my close-up lens to photograph it because it is less than 1/8 inch long.  Even then, it was difficult to get the whole insect in focus.  I also took a movie of it walking across a piece of paper.  Click here to see a movie of this insect.  Thanks to, I was able to identify this as something called a Masked Hunter, a type of assassin bug that hunts even smaller insects.  Apparently, this one is a juvenile.  Click here to see an adult.

cropped weirdthing top view of head.jpg (128193 bytes)  cropped weirdthing sideview.jpg (134475 bytes)  cropped weirdthing walking vertically.jpg (86866 bytes)

cropped weirdthing front top view.jpg (91931 bytes)  cropped weirdthing back view oof.jpg (103780 bytes)  cropped weirdthing closeup of hind leg.jpg (88383 bytes)  cropped weirdthing top view.jpg (104648 bytes)  


Unusual Caterpillars

My parents brought back some Spanish Moss from a trip to Florida in February 2005.  Soon after I opened the bag, two crazy caterpillars were inching about.  These things look like they attached small bits of plant matter to their bodies, leaving only their head and front appendages exposed.  Very strange creatures.  They are only about 3/16 to 1/4 inch long, so I had to use my close-up lens.  I also took a short movie of one inching along.  Click here to see a movie of this caterpillar in action.

conecaterpillars showing texture.jpg (111860 bytes)  cone caterpillar closeup.jpg (159481 bytes)


Go to Insects, Spiders and Other Tiny Creatures Main Page

[ Cicadas ]  [ Leaf-hoppers ]  [ Ant Lions ]  [ Praying Mantises ]  [ Ants ]

[ Grasshoppers and Crickets ]  [ Katydids ]  [ Beetles and Other Insects ]

[ Bumblebees and Carpenter Bees ]  [ Honeybees ]  [ Wasps ]  [ Flies and Other Flying Insects ]  [ Centipedes and Millipedes

   [ Moths ]  [ Butterflies ]  [ Skippers ]

[ Pandora Sphinx Moth ]  [ Polyphemus Moth ]  [ 5-Spotted Hawk Moth ]  [ Anise Swallowtail ]

[ Jumping Spiders Volume 1 ]  [ Phidippus jumping Spiders Volume 2 ]  [ Phidippus jumping Spiders Volume 3 ]  [ Baby Phidippus Jumpers ]

[ Biglegs the Jumping Spider ]  [ Tufts & Mr. Greenfangs ]

[ Platycryptus undatus jumping spiders ]  [ Platycryptus Babies ]  [ Zebra Spiders ] [ Miscellaneous Jumping Spiders ]

[ Orb-Weavers Volume 1 ]  [ Orb-Weavers Volume 2 ]  [ Baby Orb-weavers ]  [ Crab Spiders ]  [ Miscellaneous Spiders ]  [ Spider Webs ]

[ Snails ]  [ Annelids ]


[ Home ]  [ Artwork ]  [ Photography ]  [ Art Cars ]  [ Virtual Museum ]  [ Pets ]  [ Favorite Links ]  [ What's New / My Blog ]  [ Guestbook ]  [ For Sale ]

Copyright 2007-2012  All rights reserved.
All materials contained on this site, including text, graphics and icons, are the property of