I have these little beetles that get into the blooms, once opened, deep amidst the petals and...well...make the blooms ugly. They don't quite chew on the petals (as best I can tell-nothing obvious), but they nestle in there, making the blooms a little malformed and darken the area where they're snuggled-whether with their poop,or...? I'm 99% sure they aren't in there as the bloom is forming, because I have been checking as it opens, to see if I can find them ahead of time and knock them off. They don't move much-seem to say in the same spot.
They don't match the description of Japanese beetles-no leaf damage and they don't look the same. I've looked on bug files here and googled them and I can't find a match. Of course, it would be nice if I had a photo, wouldn't it? I wasn't smart enough to get one, so will get one and post here ASAP. Briefly, it is maybe 1/4" big, very dark bownish-black, not irridescent at all. No other distinguishing marks. Any help is appreciated.
Well, now that's a good idea. After I posted, I went through the bug files some more. There are so many files listed under beetle, so I probably got 2/3 way through them and still didn't find it. I'm gonna go out and look for one now...
Cucmber beetles are cute but a menace. Why can't they just leave our dahlias alone?
Thanks to melody over at the Bug ID forum, she found it was Euphoria sepulcralis or Dark Flower Scarab. They eat nectar/pollen. So THAT'S what that pest was doing in there.