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Fire beetle fights the fire bugs

A quirky beetle which lays its eggs in smouldering trees may one day help fight the forest fires that each year ravage parts of the Mediterranean coastline, southern California and Indonesia. That’s the hope of a pair of German zoologists who are devoted fans of the European jewel beetle (Melanophila acuminata), an opportunistic species which is reputedly able to detect a forest fire from 80 kilometers (50 miles) away.

Even while the forested area is still smoking after a blaze, these beetles arrive in droves to take part in a mating frenzy. The females crawl up the sides of the scorched trees and lay their eggs in the blackened bark. The eggs hatch into larvae, which then munch on the wood as they grow.

Read the original article at: TerraDaily

Read the original article at: Times Colonist

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