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Oak Timberworm

Arrhenodes minutus


Large, dark red weevil. Jaws differ between sexes: males have a short beak with large mandibles (used for fighting other males), while females have a long beak. The antennae are long and extend past the mouthparts, and the beetle posses robust femora on its legs. The dorsal part of the abdomen is grooved and has yellow spots.


Field edge


This is an interesting beetle for a variety of reasons: it's a primitive weevil in the family Brentidae, males fight to protect and mate with females, and it can get drunk on fermented sap. And yes, that last one has been scientifically proven. These beetles are wood-boring, from which they derive their common name. The females drill holes in wood and lay an egg in the hole, while the male protects the female from other males (who would otherwise distract them by trying to mate). The beetle itself is pretty robust and strong. If you would like to read more about the beetle, I direct you to my blog here: Found at Barbara A. Beiser Field Station.

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Ohio, USA

Lat: 39.42, Long: -81.36

Spotted on May 25, 2011
Submitted on Jan 2, 2012

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