Hello fellow Entomologists! It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means! Yes, it’s time for us to take another look at some truly strange insects. I hope that you’ll enjoy this post, and be sure to tell me what you think in the comments section below. Now, grab a magnifying glass, and let’s get started!
- Don’t Look Behind! Bombardier beetle (Brachinus crepitans) (info about scientific name from arkive.org) The bombardier beetle is one of the most peculiar creatures of the insect kingdom. They are scary little critters that have a very strange defense mechanism. (en.wikipedia.org) When the bombardier beetle feels threatened, it’ll release a pungent chemical spray from the tip of its abdomen, accompanied by a popping sound. (en.wikipedia.org) The beetle’s abdomen has 2 glands that each contain a vestibule that houses a mixture of peroxides and catalases. (en.wikipedia.org) There’s also a build up of hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinones. (en.wikipedia.org) The spray also contains 1,4-Benzoquinone, which irritates the respiratory system and the eyes. (en.wikipedia.org) The spray is almost 100OC, and can be released up to 20 times! (en.wikipedia.org) They can be found in woodlands world wide. (en.wikipedia.org) 0_0!
- Vroom! Wheel bug (Arilus cristatus) (scientific name from en.wikipedia.org) The wheel bug is a very helpful-yet-dangerous creature of the insect kingdom. The name comes from the bug’s wheel-shaped pronotal armor. (en.wikipedia.org) They are found in North America, and are about 1.5 inches in length. (en.wikipedia.org) The wheel bug feeds upon caterpillars and stinkbugs, which it pierces with its beak and dissolves tissue with its salivary fluids. (en.wikipedia.org) Due to its diet of pests, the wheel bug is often seen as being beneficial to gardens. (en.wikipedia.org) Although they only feed on pests, they do produce a very painful bite that can take months to heal! (en.wikipedia.org) It’s best to leave them be!