A Beetherfly in My Backyard

I went onto my deck this morning and found a curious insect resting on a green plastic chair. It appeared to be part beetle, part moth, part butterfly. Let’s call him a beetherfly.

The beetherfly.

His wings were round like a beetle’s. His body was flat like a moth’s. The way he slowly flexed his wings in and out reminded me of a butterfly.

At first I thought he was preparing to fly away. But no, he was only stretching.

I took a couple of pictures and then let him alone, sitting in the chair next to him to work on my computer. I looked half an hour later and he was still there. He was no longer stationary, but moving around on the chair so I could check him out from a variety of angles.

The shape of the chair, the reflections, and the crazy color and light made for interesting photography.

I love the reflection of his legs on the plastic.

Finally, just like that, he took off. When I saw him flying I realized I’d seen him (or others of his kind) flying around the garden many times before. I’d just never seen one at rest.

Another remarkable little find in my Melville ecosystem. Anyone know what it is?

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28 Comments

  • Reply Pamanner February 1, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Very cool, first time I’ve seen one!

    • Reply 2summers February 1, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks! Me too. It’s amazing that I’m still discovering new living things in my own backyard.

      • Reply Deano February 11, 2012 at 3:52 am

        Absolutely….he is a cutie!

        Deano

  • Reply The Background Story February 1, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    What an interesting insect!

  • Reply Caitlin February 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I think it’s a kind of net winged beetle; like a Lycus trabeatus or something. Lovely shots 🙂

  • Reply Slowvelder February 1, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Yep – it’s a tailed net-winged beetle lycus Trabeatus

    • Reply 2summers February 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      I knew you’d come through for me Jackie 🙂

  • Reply Nina Neubauer February 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    The little things make life beautiful , hey?

    • Reply 2summers February 1, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      Indeed. And I love that you wrote “hey” at the end of that sentence 🙂

  • Reply Mr Bunny Chow February 1, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Beautiful photography as always, never seen one before myself despite having grown up in that part of the world

    • Reply 2summers February 1, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      There seem to be an infinite number of interesting insects in this part of the world. I like the innocuous little ones like this. Some of the others are a little more interesting than I’d like.

  • Reply Howlin' Mad Heather February 1, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Those photos are gorgeous! I hope you don’t mind me sharing them with my entomologist friend. 🙂

    • Reply 2summers February 1, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      Not at all, please do!

  • Reply Eugenia A Parrish February 1, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    I’m such a bugaphobe that I hesitated to come to this post — I shriek when I accidentally open National Geographics at a page with bug pictures. But your pictures are so charming, I wasn’t upset at all. Hope you find out what it is.

    • Reply 2summers February 1, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      Well! That is very flattering. I am also not a big fan of bugs usually, but I’m learning to get over my phobia here. These days, I’m really only scared of the really huge, terrifying ones.

      This one was particularly cute. We found out what it was! A tailed net-winged beetle lycus Trabeatus.

  • Reply Debra Kolkka February 1, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    It looks as though it has been flattened.

    • Reply 2summers February 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

      I know! That’s what I thought too.

  • Reply Kathryn McCullough February 2, 2012 at 12:12 am

    What a great-looking little guy!
    Kathy

    • Reply 2summers February 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

      I know, he was quite charming.

  • Reply eremophila February 2, 2012 at 4:48 am

    I’m a bug lover, so found this little one enchanting! Never expected to find bugs on your page though – just shows how open you are to new directions!

    • Reply 2summers February 2, 2012 at 9:56 am

      Yes, I’ve come a long way. Before this, my only bug-type posts were about scary roaches and rain spiders. But now I’ve learned to write about insects in an appreciative way 🙂

      I am still TERRIFIED of Parktown Prawns, which I haven’t written about yet because I’m too scared to get close enough to photograph one. But my friend Martina wrote a brilliant post about them: http://martina-in-jozi.com/2011/11/22/parktown-prawn-my-worst-nightmare/.

  • Reply Lilly Loompa February 2, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Life becomes more interesting if we stop to appreciate the little things. It gives you so much more perspective of the bigger picture. Since I’ve moved to Jozi, the rush of life is definitely more tangible than in Paarl, where I’m from. Fewer people stop and take time to relax and be outdoors. Thanks for sharing your pics on this beautiful beetle. God amazes me every time with His creativity!

    • Reply 2summers February 2, 2012 at 11:11 am

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Lilly. It’s funny…It wasn’t until I moved to this huge city that I truly started to appreciate little things like this. Ironic in a way.

  • Reply Tilly Bud February 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    How unusual!

  • Reply Fidel February 3, 2012 at 2:40 am

    That’s an interesting looking bug there. I like the wings though.
    What Macro lense are you using?

    • Reply 2summers February 3, 2012 at 8:41 am

      I was using my Canon 28-135 mm. Great lens!

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