A few days ago, my wife Shyla reminded me that we had just entered the month of the June Bug. Indeed they do arrive in Vermont in the month of June and have just shown up. But science is not that simple, and as it turns out most entomologists consider June Bugs to be to be May beetles, which, as the globe warms, they will certainly be.
There are about 200 species of them in North America, and billions of the members of some of these species are invasive creatures more than an inch long with some unpleasant habits. The worst is that they can do some nasty work on leaves of plants. Less worrisome is that while in clumsy flight they frequently stumble into people, and their impressive size, hard armor and persistence suggests a hostile personality.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The poor creatures must endure three years as grubs below the soil surface feeding on roots before magically pupating, only to emerge to bang their heads against the porch light until dying of exhaustion at dawn. Porch lights were not a factor in the evolution of June Bugs, so why are they willing to sacrifice themselves to this unnatural object, the recent work of homo sapiens? I will attempt to address this perplexing problem next week.
Our friends the June Bugs will join their insect friends and relatives in our forthcoming app, the Fieldstone Guide to Insects and Spiders, coming out this summer. Be among the first to know by joining our mailing list. (We will never share your name elsewhere.)
Yours from the field,