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Beautiful day in New Jersey, after a 40 degree drop in temperature from 102 to 67. A tiring week, but the usual ups and downs, so I drag out my lounge chair to get my vitamin D, after yesterday's rain. Pretending I'm still at the ocean, the chainsaws are just screeching seagulls protecting territory. I close my eyes and enjoy the light breeze until I realize there are large buzzing beetles, dive bombing within inches of my head. The cats are happy, lounging under trees, mildly interested in my dilemma. The two black polydactyl cats unwrap themselves from their ball of sleep and slowly saunter over, as if they might be looking to bum a cigarette and I don't smoke.


The orange cat has trapped and tortured Green June Beetles, so I call him for help against (Cotinus nitida). Robust, elongated, somewhat flattened. Head dark, with a horn. Pronotum and elytra metallic green, brownish yellow on the sides; the underside is glittery green and brownish yellow. According to an ancient field guide, 3/4-7/8 inches (20-23 mm). Not these crazed kamikazes, who supposedly drink pollen from hollyhock and fruits, especially peaches.


And the sentence, "Adults fly noisily at night in search of food," not happening here mid-day. I flip through a few pages and find PLEASING FUNGUS BEETLES (Family Erotylidae), looking for something to balance the absurdity of my situation. It is the ambiguity of the name I like, in capital letters, as if that signifies importance and the short description with no photograph. Less than 1/8-3/4 inches (3-20 mm), these quiet beetles with attractive red, orange or yellow patterns, feed underneath decaying logs and bark. Adults overwinter, close together. The larvae are found wherever fungus grows.

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