Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Beautiful beetles with unappealing habits

Two more photos from the past, found at the back of a cupboard and taken about 20 years ago.























This beetle, which turned up in our garden, is Oieceoptoma thoracicum, whose mottled exoskeleton has the appearance of shimmering silk. Apparently it feeds on insects found in dung and dead animals.
























I found this very fine sexton beetle Nicrophorus investigator on the sand dunes at Embleton on the Northumberland coast. Sexton beetles bury corpses of dead animals by excavating the soil from under their bodies, then lay their eggs in the corpse. The females stay with the corpse and feed on it until the grubs hatch, then she feeds them with regurgitated food until they're large enough to tuck into thje corpse unaided. Nice.


6 comments:

  1. You summed things up nicely.
    They are beautiful though.

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    Replies
    1. Hard to overlook those sexton beetles, with that gaudy colour scheme!

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  2. Replies
    1. I'm not much good at IDing beetles Amanda but can't go wrong when they are this colourful!

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  3. I am struck dumb! And the ancient Sanskrit poems romanticize the beetle!

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    Replies
    1. The scarlet and black sexton beetle is fairly common here. Fascinating insects.

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