Sunday, May 29, 2011

Beetles that Bite Back

In a "Man bites Dog" like story, scientists in Israel have reported on a beetle that attacks and eats amphibians of far greater size.  As reported in, the Epomis beetles frequently live peacefully in the same space with the toad or frog in the day.  At night, like a vampire, they strike.

Frogs and toads usually eat insects such as beetles.  In this case, the beetle bites the back of the amphibian which responds violently by trying to shake off the predator.  Once it has cut into the back, its prey is paralyzed and can be eaten at leisure.

The site has a video of one attack.  These studies were done at Tel Aviv University in Israel and there are no observations of this behavior in the US - so far.

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