Translated from the Dutch entomologists of European Invertebrate Survey (EIS) – Nederland:
Thursday, September 29, 2011
The new EIS-Nederland carrion beetle team which started in 2010 had some nice sightings this season. Last month, for example, in southern Limburg province, the very rare Nicrophorus interruptus was found, a carrion beetle which had not been seen in the Netherlands for over fifty years.
Several carrion beetle surveys resulted in other special observations. Thus, while studying the entomofauna of animal carcasses in the Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve, dozens of beetle species were found which had not previously been reported in Flevoland province. Among them Onthophagus vacca, a dung beetle which elsewhere in the Netherlands is only common in the Biesbosch. Despite the Dutch name,
which, like the Latin vacca, refers to cows and cow dung
the species was found in the Oostvaardersplassen in horse manure.
Perhaps the most bizarre carrion beetle discovery was made at the highly successful 1000 species day, end of August in the Weerribben. In a carelessly discarded smelly beer can 99 dead and one living carrion beetles were found. The first visitor was probably attracted by the (rotting) smell of the beer, drowned in it, then started to rot, and in a domino effect attracted all the other beetles to the can. A total of 67 Nicrophorus vespilloides, 16 Nicrophorus vespillo, 2 Nicrophorus humator, 6 Thanatophilus sinuatus, 4 Thanatophilus rugosus, 4 Oiceoptoma thoracicum and 1 Silpha tristis were removed from the can. This means that the common carrion beetle species in the Netherlands were all represented.
Beetles make love to beer bottles: here.
Science in Action: Dung Beetle Directions: How do dung beetles find their way? They do a little dance: here.
Fossil beetles show true colours: here.