Lake Erie

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Carpet Beetle Larvae

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It’s so unfair that a creature this small can inflict such pain and misery.  Carpet beetles are tiny, nondescript bugs that live in most homes and eat all types of organic matter. Some of their favorite things to snack on are the small amounts of skin that we shed every day.

The problem with carpet beetles is their larvae.  The fine bristles covering the larvae produce itchy and painful swelling where they come in contact with human skin.  Many people afflicted by these tiny demons initially think they have encountered bedbugs.  The allergic reaction to carpet beetle larvae however is more painful and less itchy than bedbugs.

The toothbrush is shown to give perspective on how tiny these creatures are.  Their painful ‘bites’ last for several days to two weeks, often causing referred pain in nearby lymph nodes.  The best way to avoid carpet beetles is to clean and vacuum your house fastidiously.

 

Birders – Plum Island, MA

Eastern Toad

Giraffe Weevil

Giraffe-necked Weevil

Giraffe Weevils live only in Madagascar, and are highly sought after by insect collectors.  They spend their lives consuming leaves of the aptly named Giraffe Beetle Tree, showing no interest in other tree species.  They have no specific predators, and do not bite or sting when handled.

The long necks of the male Giraffe Weevil are used in fighting for mates and territorial dominance.  Females have shorter necks.  After mating, a single egg is deposited on a leaf, which is then rolled up like a cigar and snipped off the tree by the female.  On the ground, the leaf provides shelter and food for the developing weevil larvae.

 

Hermit Beetle

June Beetle

Hermit Beetles are also known as ‘Russian Leather Beetles’, because the smell they release when disturbed is similar to the scent of Russian Leather fragrance.  At first glance they look like black June Beetles.  Some people enjoy keeping them as pets, and they are very docile when handled.  In the wild, they live as grubs for the first three or four years of their lives, usually in rotting oak trees.  Once they pupate into adult beetles however, their typical life expectancy is less than a year.

 

Rosy Maple Moth

Rosy Maple Moth