COMMON NAME: Spotted Cucumber Beetle
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Diabrotica undecimpunctata
Click on photo to enlarge. Taken 19 Sep 2012.
I think this was the first and only sighting I’ve had of this beetle on the property. I will be keeping an eye out for more photo opportunities in the summer of 2013.
It is sitting on a Saw-leaf Daisy in a full sun area of the property.
These beetles are considered pests because they destroy certain crops. I notice how there are dire warnings about many of the caterpillars, beetles and bugs that inhabit my property and how they much destruction they do. However, since I allow native wild plants to grow rather than digging up the soil and sparsely planting single crops, I don’t see any of the so-called “pests” on my property doing any significant destruction. Sure, they eat, but they also leave plenty behind. I suppose if the wildflowers were planted in the same fashion as crop planting, my wildflowers might be wiped out as well. I’m no expert, but my observations have me wondering if it might benefit us to plant food in a manner that mimics the way native wild plants grow – good, hearty seed stock inserted into naturally fertilized and mulched untilled soils, allowed to grow much closer together with a multitude of other food plants that flourish well together. I wouldn’t expect such freakishly large fruits as we see in the supermarkets, but perhaps they will be healthy and strong and not so vulnerable to being wiped out by our anthropod friends.
It seems to me that it’s not the bugs that are the problem, it’s the way we plant and tend crops. Either that, or we have a problem with the idea of sharing plant food with our fellow Earth species. Why should we expect to have it all for ourselves? Bugs just eat, without a concept of ownership or profit. It seems that humans may be the ones with the problem. We may be the true pests, trying to kill off anything that dares enter our “property.”