One of the Cucumber Beetles in the genus Diabrotica. Very common in fall. Pests of the namesake plant as well as Melon species. They overwinter in shelters and buildings and emerge in mid-spring.

A lipstick red beetle in the same genus as the below creature. This one usually inhabits Passionflower but I found it on a wet morning on these broad leaves of a lily. It is Disonycha discoidea (thanks Josh).

Search enough flowers and you begin to notice how many beetles seem to hang out on blooms. This appears to be Disonycha fumata, one of the Flea Beetles. They jump when disturbed with a loaded back leg mechanism. They eat holes in leaf surfaces and love some of the same plants we like to keep around: tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, peppers. Despite all that, they are handsome in a striped pajamas kind of way.

The experts at Texas A&M (and they have some fine ones) say this is Kuschelina gibbitarsa. It is certainly a Chrysomelid which is a large group of beetles. The Chrysomelids are indeed one of the largest beetle groups. They are unusual in that the larval stages often feed on the same plant as the adults which puts both generations in direct food competition. Few, if any, other beetles do this. This one was very small, a fast flier and was on a rich creekside in the Ozarks.

The Ladybird beetles are familiar to most. Children can even recognize the spotted 'Ladybugs.' There are almost 500 species in North America. The Asian import Harmonia is perhaps the most familiar. This 'spotless' species is in the genus Cycloneda and is probably C. munda. Known as the Polished Labybird. Many of the species in the family eat aphids and scale insects as larvae and are beneficial to crops and gardeners. This one was nectaring in early spring on the first emergent Pussytoe flowers.

Epicauta species. The genus name appropriately means "skin burn." This is a completely black species. I have seen a gray-blue one as well. Both about an inch long. They emit a fairly toxic chemical when disturbed. It is the same chemical that has been marketed as Spanish Fly, an aphrodisiac. It is quite toxic. These beetles can be harmful to grazing animals when they occur in high local concentration.

The blue-gray species. Also Epicauta. Note the body form which is the same for the black and I assume for all in the genus. Rounded and full-bodied beyond the mid-abdomen.

An even handsomer Epicauta. This one out in early spring. Also about an inch long or so. Was busily searching through the leaf litter and then would periodically fly about 10 or 15 feet and start again.

This is Plagiometriona clavata, one of the Tortoise Beetles. I like those protruding alien antennae. The juveniles are even more alien and have a fecal shield. These are also in the Chrysomelidae but in a different subfamily than the Kuschelina above. Reportedly specializes in eating species in the Convolvulaceae plant family but I cannot confirm this from my limited information. I did not note the plant this was feeding on.

The Florida Tortoise Beetle or Palmetto Tortoise, Hemisphaerota cyanea (Say), seen here from Florida on Palmetto. It is the only North American tortoise beetle that feeds on a member of the palm family. Most feed on the Morning Glory group. The young create curlicues of frass above the body for protection and concealment. These adults use impressive attachment powers to avoid predators. The only insect that consistently defeats this protective method is the nasty wheel bug which likely injects its victim directly.

Neochlamisus species. (Joshua Stuart Rose hunted this name down.) He guessed it was a Chrysomelid. He must have been drinking and free-associating. It worked. Known as the Warty Leaf Beetle. Apparently different species favor different plants as with the way of the Chrysomelid group. I literally had no idea what it was when I focused on it. I think bizarre applies here.

One of the great Chrysomelids. This is Chrysochus auratus, the Dogbane beetle. Very distinctive metallic coloration.  Graces the cover of Stephen Marshall's giant volume.