|Description:||At an even higher magnification of 355X, which is twice as high as PHIL 9944 and four time greater than PHIL 9943, this scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image depicted some of the morphologic exoskeletal features located at the distal end of an adult “figeater” beetle’s, Cotinis mutabilis leg. Depicted here was a closer view of the tarsal empodium, which is a spike or bristle that arises from the last tarsal segment from what is known as the “unguitrator plate”. This chitinous structure enhances the claw-like appendicular configuration, which is better visualized in PHIL 9943 and 9944, and affords the beetle a more secure grasp of objects within its environmental domain, such as foliage or food. See PHIL 9943, 9944, 9947, 9948, and 9949 for additional views of these exoskeletal features.|
Due to the jointed nature of this organism’s leg configuration, it is classified in the phylum, Arthropoda, i.e., “Arthro” = jointed, and “poda” = legs. This beetle was found in the Decatur, Georgia suburbs.
The dorsum of the adult figeater beetle is a drab green color, while its ventral surface is a vivid iridescent green. Their diet mainly consists of soft, overly ripe fruits including figs, hence its name. However, it’s the larval phase of this insect, which wrecks more havoc upon agricultural crops than adults, for the larvae, which burrow into the soils, will feed upon the crop roots, thereby, killing the fruit-bearing plants.