A few days ago I shared the picture below on Facebook. It’s a Common Red Soldier Beetle on the flower of Wild Carrot.
I knew that the wild carrot is another of those alien invader plants from Europe brought over by early settlers but assumed that the beetle, pretty common here, was native born and bred. This morning I had a message and photo from a friend in England that could have been the same as mine … turns out, after a bit of nerdy delving, that the beetle too is an import to this continent from Europe and Asia and is common here in British Columbia (west coast ports) and here in Quebec (the European cousins).
So far, so interesting – we have a surprising number of alien species hereabouts, perhaps because the native fauna and flora evolved in a predominantly forested environment and humans have transformed it by cutting the trees and made the habitat into something foreigner creatures and plants are more adapted to.
Anyway, the nerdy information to take away from this post is that the little red beetles has, in England, the delightful common name of the “Hogweed Bonking Beetle” … hogweed, of course, being a relative of wild carrot.