Auto-entomology

It has been cold and snowy up here in Idaho. Last night I noticed that a

Cotinis nitida

Cotinis nitida

headlight had gone out on the car, so today I went in to have it replaced. One of the downsides of the Toyota Prius is that it is intimidating as heck to work on. While the mechanic at the dealership was waiting for the new lamp, I asked if he would mind if I replaced the air filter while the car was someplace warm and dry. I got the air filter I had been meaning to install for a couple weeks, and noticed some acorns had collected under hood. They looked like Quercus phellos acorns, and when I went to remove them I found a somewhat beat around specimen of Cotinis nitida. I think we must have picked these up during our Thanksgiving pilgrimage to Louisiana, but cannot discount the fact that these eastern artifacts have been banging around under the hood since 2011 or before.

The mechanic at the dealership told me that when Toyota’s came from Japan the Idaho Department of Agriculture collected some cool beetles from the dealership (insert Volkswagen beetle pun here).

My car has probably transported numerous seeds and insects with out my knowledge. If you happen to notice a population of Willow Oaks and Cotinis nitida in Twin Falls County, Idaho – I might be to blame.

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