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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Amazing Adaptable Beetles

 
If you are going to have vermin in your kitchen, you might as well get something interesting from the experience, right?

I had a small bag of wheat flour that had been sitting in a styrofoam tray for quite a long time. I knew I was going to have to throw it out because the mice had chewed into the corners, and I could see that those tiny beetles that like flour had also taken over the territory. But I hadn't quite gotten into dealing with the mess yet.

Today I did. Just threw the whole thing into the compost and peeled off the plastic bag. But look what I found in the styrofoam tray.

styrofoam with beetle galleries

The tray has beetle galleries in it! Who knew they'd chew their way through styrofoam just like they do in wood? I guess they can digest it, since I didn't see hoards of dead beetles. Is there a waste management application here? When I was working on my Masters (in that topic) we learned that actually everything, even the nastiest chemicals, can be broken down naturally. The big question is... can they be broken down in a meaningful time frame?

Anyway, here's a closer look.

styrofoam with beetle galleries

Yes, those dark spots you see through the thin foam are more beetles, and/or larvae.

styrofoam with beetle galleries

Hope this didn't gross you out. I just think it's fascinating. And, also, there is no particular pattern to the galleries like there is with some of the wood eating beetles.


See Bark Beetle Galleries
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2 comments:

Secondary Roads said...

Cool! It is a bit surprising, though.

Ann said...

That's rather fascinating.

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