Ento-musings from the University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

Friday, May 20, 2011

Beetle vs. Frog

It is always amazing to see an insect (or insect relative) successfully prey upon vertebrates or other creatures that are considered to be more-advanced, or higher on the food chain.

We already know that giant water bugs (Kentucky natives!) are able to catch and eat fish and frogs. And many people have probably seen videos of giant tropical centipedes preying upon mice and snakes. There are even reports of praying mantids capturing hummingbirds.

But today I learned that beetles will attack and eat frogs!

Most of the time, beetles do not eat frogs. Instead, they are usually frog-food. American toads, in particular, seem to love eating ground beetles. But scientists have recently discovered that a type of predatory ground beetle will--in captivity, anyway--attack and kill frogs. You can read about the study here. This study was based out of Israel and was conducted with ground beetles in the Epomis genus. I don't think that these beetles are found in the United States, but we do have some species of ground beetles in Kentucky that are similar in shape and size, such as the so-called Searchers in the Calosoma genus. I wonder if our beetles will eat frogs? Sounds like it's time for a death-match! Um, I mean, an experiment.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Cicadas in Western Kentucky

Periodical cicadas are currently emerging in western Kentucky. This happens to be a 13-year brood: the cicadas that we witnessed in central Kentucky a few years ago were a 17-year brood. Read more about the current emergence at Dr. Lee Townsend's Brood XIX Watch. And you can read more about the differencees between annual cicadas and periodical cicadas at our Critter File: Cicadas.

I hope to get a chance to see the ones in western KY this year. I love the sight and sound of periodical cicadas, and I probably won't get to see them again in central Kentucky until 2025!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

bugged by semantics

Really good article about the usage of the word "bug" by entomologists