Thursday, September 4, 2008

Lifephoto Meme: Hooray for stumpy!

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Coleoptera

Family: Tenebrionidae

I've already posted a picture of Stumpy, my death-feigning beetle, But I had to post another one to celebrate the cool thing I discovered yesterday. The death-feigning beetle (Cryptoglossa verrucosa) is also called the iron clad beetle for its armor-like appearance. They are found in the deserts of the south west (California, Arizona, and the like), and are able to get all of their water from their food.

I obtained Stumpy and a friend from a bug fair last may, and named her Stumpy because she is missing the tarsus (or tip) of her right front leg. Her companion died about a week and a half after bringing them home. Since then, I've been half-hoping that some of the interesting behaviors that I witnessed when the companion was around were mating behaviors, but did not expect too much since months had passed.

Low and behold, when I checked her tank the other day I found this....

A cute little beetle larva! She had been burying her abdomen in the sand a few weeks earlier (which prompted me to start calling her a girl), and now I have confirmation of several of my hypothesis. She is a girl, the burying the abdomen in the sand was probably 'ovipositing' behaviour and she had stored sperm either from her companion or from when I got her! Cool! It's a bit nerve-wracking since the people I know who care for these guys have never had young before, so I hope some of them survive!


Kate said...

Woo Hoo! congrats to Stumpy... and to you!

Eric Heupel said...

Woot! Stumpy's going to have a Stumpette! That is a cool looking beetle too! Let us know about the development phases?

The Bee said...


Brine Queen said...

Nothing really to update... I have 11 beetles now, and while I see some mating behaviour, no grubs have been forth coming. I had some grubs get through several instars last year but then they surfaced and got eaten by the adults.