First task was to dump out the pot. The agave was in bad shape, with many crowding pups, so no loss. But it was a surprise to discover large tunnels in the soil under the agave. Watson, the game is afoot!
And there was a resident of those tunnels, which revealed itself to be an Ox Beetle. At least according to iNaturalist which I am learning to use after taking an online class sponsored by the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. Online gardening classes are a bright spot in the current status of staying at home more.
These Beetles are huge! Biggest I've seen in the garden.
They are said to dig holes about a quarter in size. This exit opening was much larger.
Mesmerizing...like some Japanese film from the 60's. The bug that ate my agave. But really, it was just tunneling.
Ox Beetles are native to an area ranging from Florida to Arizona. For observation we placed it on the bottom of the pot.
Most likely a male, he was easy to flip over for a moment to show the detail on his belly. Nice pecs. Note the eyes on the end of protruding thingies.
(NOTE: No Beetles were harmed in the making of this blog post.)
Ox Beetles are beneficial in the garden because they recycle decaying vegetation and aerate soil. So this guy simply took advantage of the root bound agave and likely caused no harm at all.
After enduring a bit of our hassle he was happily released into the garden and not expected to return.
Doe, the female deer, are hanging around the compost waiting for treats as I do a lot of springtime cleanup. They just dropped their fawns. Probably hungry. Hi girls!
Wildlife Wednesday is hosted by Tina at "My Gardener Says..." on the first Wednesday of each month.