Friday, October 29, 2010

One BIGGGGGG grub!

Take a look what someone brought me today!! One big grub! Jason Bailey, who lives in our neighborhood, told on the phone that he'd found the biggest grub he'd EVER seen in his mulch pile. Could he bring it to me for identification? Well, sure!

When he handed the plastic cup to me, and I peeked inside–OH MY STARS OVER BLANCO! I'd never ever seen anything that big (and ugly) either! Before I actually saw it, I'd already guessed it to be an ox beetle larva (Strategus aloeus). I was right. I've found them in our Wildscape before and have blogged about the species in the past.

After James got home, I showed him the cup. He peered inside, then jumped WAY back!! "What's THAT?!" he exclaimed. "It's HUGE!" Yep, I grinned, it sure is.

I shot some charming portraits and even handled it, using a glove. I could have sworn I felt it trying to gnaw on the glove. "Ewwwww, it IS big!" I squealed to James. I'm not usually squeamish about insects, bugs and spiders. But this one made me shudder a little. Yuck. Then I dug a little hole in our compost pile and dropped it there. I'm not sure when it'll pupate into an adult beetle (next spring probably), but it'll definitely look a lot better when it does.

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