For a moment this morning I thought I was back in psychology class doing the Rorschach ink blot test. There was a beetle walking around the rim of a pot that stopped me in my tracks. I can see a lobster and a bat......how about you? Not surprising- I always see plants and animals in those cards.
A quick photo and then to find out what it was. That was an easy one.....black and yellow beetle. Up popped Gymnetis caseyi, or the harlequin flower bug. "Harlequin" strikes fear in the heart of this gardener but I don't think I need to worry. Here are the facts.
One site says it is invasive.
One site says it is the only scarab beetle that occurs naturally north of Mexico. Several sightings in Texas.
One site says it is normally found in mid elevation tropical rainforests- We have had a lot of rain recently!
One site is breeding them and is having discussions with other breeders.
One site is selling them for $10 each but is out of stock. They make great pets or a tasty treat for reptiles(that's a pretty expensive meal)
Who to believe? I have contacted Wizzie Brown, our Extension service entomologist. She is sure to know. stay tuned.