Myrmecos

i-1e93d9adb3c624042ccffdfffc0148d3-Cantharid5.jpg

This velvety worm-like creature may not look like a beetle, but it is. Beetles are like butterflies, passing through a complex metamorphosis on the way to adulthood, and this insect is the larval stage of a soldier beetle.

photo details:
Canon EOS 50D camera
Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens
ISO 100, f/13, 1/250sec

Comments

  1. #1 Mike
    April 23, 2010

    Very nice! I am all for more larvae in the Friday beetle blogs.

  2. #2 Roberto Keller
    April 23, 2010

    Oh, you mean beetles have an onychophoran stage? Cool!

  3. #3 Morgan Jackson
    April 23, 2010

    I thought larval soldiers were outlawed by the UN…

  4. #4 jason
    April 23, 2010

    Ah… I love these guys. It’s always a sign of spring when they start crawling out of their hiding places.

  5. #5 Bob Carlson
    April 23, 2010

    Beetles are like butterflies…

    Er, are you trying to start a war between the beetle lover and the butterfly lovers? :)

  6. #6 Tim Eisele
    April 23, 2010

    I should find some brown velvet and make a toy version of this for my daughter. I think she’d love it. She certainly did like the live larva of a related species that she caught in her bedroom and raised to adulthood.

    There should be more plush insects on the market for young children.

  7. #7 Dave Stone
    April 25, 2010

    Very nice image, Alex. You can almost feel the body texture on this guy.

    Two questions –

    Do you have a recommendation regarding a beetle field guide with larval images comparable to the one you posted? If so, I think I’m going shopping.

    What are you using as your neutral color background for this image? It certainly shows this larva off to maximum advantage.

  8. #8 Bob Kallal
    April 25, 2010

    Roberto Keller – of course they do! Didn’t you know that endosymbiosis and hybridization of distant taxa is the answer to everything?

  9. #9 katie
    April 25, 2010

    Yay for larvae! I always feel like they’re terribly underrepresented, even amongst entomologists. Especially if you consider many species spend the majority of their life in that life stage…

  10. #10 Claire
    April 30, 2010

    I had a huge argument with someone who swore these larvae were eating the peppers in her garden because she found one in a chewed pepper. She absolutely would not believe me when I told her it was no doubt after another insect (and I’m an entomologist)!

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.