Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Scavenging - Laura Gillis

Well, it’s another new year and time again to get back in the groove. One groove I am trying to get back into is eating right. No more chocolate cake, sugar cookies, holiday dips and snacks. So, I while I was scavenging through the freezer, trying to find something good to fix for supper, I found this fabulous water scavenger beetle that I had forgotten about! No, I didn’t fix him for supper. (You will all be relieved to know that we had chicken cacciatore.)

But, back to the beetle. Not only is he large and shiny with feathery legs he is pretty interesting also. When you look at him from the underside he looks remarkably like Darth Vader and he has a keel-like spike that runs down his middle. When I looked this one up, the Kaufman book says that they swim by moving their legs alternately and surface “heads-up,” using their short antennae to channel air to a bubble on their belly. I don’t know if the center spike has anything to do with that or not. They also say that not all of the Hydrophilidae family are aquatic, nor are they all scavengers. I find that interesting because I found this guy in the parking lot of our building at work.... not near water at all. I don’t know what he was doing there or how he got there but I was a lucky girl to find him!

In other news, a few members of the Western Trail Art Association and I took a trip to Altus, Oklahoma to meet with Jennie Buchanan and check out the gallery space at the Museum of the Western Prairie. The Association will be having their first show there on March 24th, 2012 and we are all pretty excited about that. (This is a really nice museum – if you ever find yourself in Altus, you should stop by.) I will post more about this show soon.

I hope everyone is having a good new year! I think I will go clean out the freezer.....


  1. Laura, sounds like you like insects as much as I do. This fellow is very handsome. What is the Kaufman book you mention? Sounds like something I should have. thanks.

    1. Paula, the book is a Kaufman "Field Guide to Insects of North America," by Eric R Eaton & Kenn Kaufman. I have several guides but this is probably my favorite.... they have lots of photos and more interesting information than most guides have. You can never have too many field guides!

  2. Yea! Bring on you wonderful bugs, Laura!! Impossible to give up chocolate!

  3. Pam you are right about giving up the chocolate... I didn't last very long. ha!

  4. LOVE to see your bugs, Laura, it's fun to learn about them. Interesting that you found him so far from water!


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