Beetle Evidence?


Seed for scarlet rose mallow (Hibiscus coccineus) was available at last year’s plant propagation workshop for volunteers from the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory – Pelican Island Audubon Society class. Thank you to everyone who propagated this plant and brought seedlings to Audubon House for planting.

A year later it is now in flower at Audubon House. Also known as scarlet hibiscus, brilliant hibiscus, and Texas star, this plant is native to freshwater marshes throughout the southeast U.S. It is cultivated in moist landscapes for its glossy & showy bright red flowers.

The holes in the flower in the picture above likely were the work of a beetle. Beetles, unlike more “delicate” pollinators, often chew through floral parts in pursuit of pollen.

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