I found one of the few things to seriously give me the creeps today while picking strawberries. It was on one of the leaves and when I brushed them it fell on its back and played dead. All I saw initially was a black form but the moment I focused and looked at it I saw it was COVERED in tiny baby beetles.
HOLY SHIT! EWW! This is like the spiders or scorpions that carry their babies around. Something super creepy about all the tiny things wriggling around all over the beetle.
I picked it up by the tip of a leg and tossed it onto the plastic of the squash rows nearby so as to better see it without touching it much. It started to crawl towards an opening in the plastic and I tapped the plastic near it which caused it to flop on its back.
The beetle lay still for a bit before attempting to move.
Seriously, this just creeps me out. They look like tiny ticks all over it.
The beetle crunched its legs inward and then started kicking different legs around until it flipped itself over.
Through all of it none of the babies fell off, at least that I could see. I was looking for them and couldn't see any stray ones.
These beetles are great for the ecosystem as they take care of many of the carcasses of all sizes. They will bury them which then decompose and they cycle many nutrients through their diets. I like having them around and this is the first time I have ever seen one with young on it.
Fleming Family Farm
FLEMING FAMILY FARM, LLC
Sustainable & Organic Methods | Heirloom Produce
All images are original works of Fleming Family Farm unless otherwise notated and credited.
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