Meligethes sp.

Sap-Feeding Beetle

Sap-Feeding Beetle photo, Genus Meligethes






Family: Nitidulidae

Subfamily: Meligethinae

Length: 2.0-2.5 mm


W. S. Blatchley (1910) stated that the Latin name of this genus means "Honey Rejoicers." Probably the original belief was that these beetles were fond of flower nectar, but as it turns out it is pollen the beetles are after. While they have catholic tastes as far as the variety of flowers they visit, I enjoy looking for them on Coltsfoot, where they are among the very first beetles of Spring to be out and feeding.

Meligethes simplipes is the only species from this genus yet reported from West Virginia; its common in the southern Appalachians. The elytra often have a hint of metallic purple or blue, or even green. The elytra and pronotum are punctate, and the pronotum is widely margined. The tibiae are dilated. A similar species, M. nigrescens, is the only other species likely to be found in West Virginia.

Insects of West Virginia