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  • In late 2020 I’m spending mornings masked, working in a lab in the University of Montana Zoological Museum. The museum houses research collections of natural artifacts like skins and skeletons. But behind the scenes museum staff tend a single living collection: a colony of dermestid beetles, the meticulous scavengers that scour flesh from bones before a skeleton can be installed in the museum.
  • While other beetles are known to make various squeaks and hisses, Bess Beetle adults and larvae can make 14 distinctly different sounds to convey danger to the rest of the family, attract a mate, and enable family communications.
  • Found in the eastern portion of the United States, deathwatch beetles typically inhabit the hardwood timbers of old buildings or the decaying wood of very old trees. The larvae bore into the wood, feeding for anywhere from one to ten years before pupating and emerging as an adult. And while their wood-boring lifestyle can weaken the structural integrity of some infested buildings, if you believe the superstition, that’s the least of your worries.
  • When trying to avoid predators or find prey it’s helpful to look in all directions. But when you’re an animal that spends a lot of time at the surface of the water, it’s hard to do both at the same time …that is, unless you’re a whirligig beetle.
  • For insects, it’s not quite that easy. So what’s the next best thing? Have yourself delivered to your food. After a long day, on a night when nobody is in the mood to cook, you might decide to order for delivery.
  • Walking along the bicycle path in Polson one April afternoon, I was surprised to see a thumb-sized lump of coal lumbering with great purpose across the pavement. Insect-starved just as much as I was sun-starved from a long winter, I rushed over and squatted down to find a black insect with an iridescent-blue sheen, its head and thorax built like a husky ant, and its abdomen fat yet sleek like a huge, black clove of garlic.
  • Burying beetles are often called sexton beetles since they perform duties similar to a sexton or gravedigger.These beetles have an amazing ability to…
  • You’re in your garden or maybe out for a walk in the woods … and you come across what looks like a fresh loogie someone just spit onto a plant.…
  • Every autumn I begin to wonder: where do all the bugs go? Unlike people, and other warm-blooded critters that can maintain a consistent internal…
  • If any beetle was said to have an “explosive personality,” it would have to be the bombardier beetle.They may appear to be your average, everyday beetle,…