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280 days of Urbpandemonium #109

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Oh, hi! This friendly looking insect with fearsome hooklike feet is a grapevine beetle Pelidnota punctata.* It uses those feet to cling and clamber about on grapevines, eating the fruit and leaves in the cover of dark. I have never encountered one on our Concord grapevines Vitis labrusca.** Instead we find them bumbling about our porch light, rattling against the door at night. On one memorable occasion, we hosted a moth night, and caterpillar expert Sam Jaffe attended--he found a grapevine beetle and affixed it to his forehead. The little tarsal claws held on good and tight for a while, bringing painful slapstick to an absurd sight gag.

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* Pelidnota from Greek pelidno, livid (dark, inflamed/leaden tinge of the skin) plus nota, the back. Punctata meaning spotted.

** Grapevine, wild grapevine

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