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Scarab Beetle - Phanaeus igneus

Scarab Beetle - Phanaeus igneus
Lake Placid - Archbold Biological Station, Highlands County, Florida, USA
March 27, 2009
Size: 30mm roughly
While taking photos of a wasp I noticed there was something moving under the surface of the sand. With a little brushing this guy emerged. He was not happy being topside and could burrow quite quickly. If you look closely you will see a tiny fly that stayed with the beetle. When the beetle dug under again, the fly simply moved to the beetles tail end and when that submerged the fly went under as well.

Images of this individual: tag all
Scarab Beetle - Phanaeus igneus Scarab Beetle - Phanaeus igneus


Thank you
for the ID Michael.

Great photo
I'm curious what the structure on the front of the face is called. Is it used like a shovel?

for looking. I am (obviously) no expert but I can tell you what I observed. It only took about three seconds for the beetle to go from topside to completely submerged. It appeared the front legs did the work and it did not use the nose to lift sand and set it aside as we would use a shovel. It seemed to be more like the prow of a ship to me, if that makes sense.

Yes...great description
I was going to use a similar analogy. Shovel vs. (but didn't know the name of that part of a boat. I was picturing an ice-breaking ship :) The details of his 'prow' are fascinating.

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