Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tale of the Headless Ladybug

Allenius iviei, or "Winton's Ladybird Beetle.
Big winds, swollen creeks and rivers, power outages, devastation and headless ladybird beetles....

Wait, what was that last one?

You read that right, headless beetles.

I'm writing this post ahead of time, so as not to interrupt my one post a day no matter what pursuit. As a result, at this writing I have no idea if 'Frankenstorm' was a big deal or a big dud.

And besides, are any of you really going to come to this blog for the latest information? I thought not.

So, let's provide a change of subject.

Which brings us to headless ladybird beetles.

As you might have guessed, they're not really headless. Because, as we all know, with the exception of some Fox News personalities, most living beings cannot live without a head and some kind of brain activity.

What this recently-discovered beetle does, it, much like a turtle, retract its head back into its throat, according to this report in Reuters:

The newly discovered insect tucks its head into its throat - making it not only a new species but an entirely new genus, or larger classification of plants and animals.
Ross Winton captured the insect in 2009 in traps he set in a sand dune while an entomology graduate student at Montana State University. Winton, now a wildlife technician in Idaho, at first thought he had parts of an ant but then discovered the bug can hide its head, much like a turtle ducking into its shell.
The discovery is no small accomplishment considering the bug is the size and color of a grain of sand.

The insect, with the proposed common name "Winton's Ladybird Beetle," may prey on aphids and other plant pests, you know, in case you were wondering.

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