Killer Beetles

We normally think of frogs and toads as being insectivores. However, sometimes the tables are turned. A recent paper in the Journal Zookeys describes amphibian predation be two species of beetles of the genus Epomis

Abstract

The genus Epomis is represented in Israel by two species: E. dejeani and E. circumscriptus. In the central coastal plain these species are sympatric but do not occur in the same sites. The objective of this study was to record and describe trophic interactions between the adult beetles and amphibian species occurring in the central coastal plain of Israel. Day and night surveys at three sites, as well as controlled laboratory experiments were conducted for studying beetle-amphibian trophic interaction. In the field we recorded three cases of E. dejeani preying upon amphibian metamorphs and also found that Epomis adults share shelters with amphibians. Laboratory experiments supported the observations that both Epomis species can prey on amphibians. Predation of the three anuran species (Bufo viridis, Hyla savignyi and Rana bedriagae) and two urodele species (Triturus vittatus and Salamandra salamandra infraimmaculata) is described. Only E. dejeani consumed T. vittatus. Therefore, we conclude that the two species display a partial overlap in food habit.

Anuran Predation by Beetle CREDIT: Gil Wisen

The video below shows an adult beetle paralyzing, then eating a toad. The beetles aren’t that fussy though; they will eat newts and salamanders as well as toads.

via Live Science

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2 Responses to Killer Beetles

  1. monado says:

    Very interesting! Giant water bugs eat small frogs and fish, but they are much larger in proportion and they just suck out the juices.

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