Monday, 23 September 2013

A coffee cup of beetles

My wife and I were on a walk through the Forest of Dean recently and I a spotted a large plastic coffee cup about two meters from the path. As it was upright in the grass I thought "that could be dodgy if some poor creature fell in it", so I went over to it. To my horror the bottom 25 mm of the cup was a mass of various black and violet beetle remains and motionless on the top was a type I had not seen before. I was shocked. We thought they were all dead but when I tipped them out to look at the contents more closely the big fella on the top slowly moved. We felt that he possibly survived by eating all the others. Upon returning home I looked him/her up. He/she was unmistakably a Burying Beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides . This lead to me reading up about Burying Beetles – fascinating. Obviously I removed the cup.

Roger, Droitwich Community Woods.

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