What is the Habitat of a Beetle?

My son Eric is in 7th grade, and he wanted some help with his science.  He was supposed to come up with a description of a habitat and a niche for a number of different living things.

Turtle?  That is fairly easy–its habitat would be rivers or lakes, and its niche would be that it eats insects.  (I know–that is a huge oversimplification–there are a number of different species of turtles and a lot of them are omnivores but some are probably specalists).

So his next creature was a beetle.  What is the habitat of a beetle?  What is its niche?  Well, there are a lot of them.  I let him come up with the answer–some of them eat poo.

While watching the nest of Formica exsectoides I was especially watching for insects that might be specialists on ant nests.  This beetle was fairly distinctive looking and I saw it on the mound on several occasions.  I was hopeful I had something special.

Turns out it is an invasive species, native to Asia, and it is called Calomycterus setarius.  According to the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America by Eric R. Eaton and Kenn Kaufman, it is flightless and only females are known.  It seems unlikely that it specializes in ant nests.  I saw it frequently because it just happened to be there.

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About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
This entry was posted in ants, formica exsectoides, insects, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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