Blue Death Feigning Beetle Facts
- First of all, the name of the Blue Death Feigning Beetle remains rather unique, to put it mildly. However, the term also serves as perfectly fitting, and descriptive. The attention-grabbing, if lengthy, term certainly seems more poetic than the scientific name of Asbolus verrucosus.
- Yet sadly, for the moment, scientists studying the incredible invertebrate do not know much about this insect. This fact comes as something of a surprise, given recent developments. That holds true due to the fact that the species is rapidly becoming quite popular in the pet trade.
- Further, the common name derives from the combination of two factors. The first remains fairly obvious, that being its natural color. But the second factor remains the remarkable behavior of the species. When threatened, it reacts in a way the name implies, literally pretending to be dead.
- Finally, for the moment, its numbers in the wild appear to be reasonably stable. Therefore, the IUCN does not currently have a listing of the species. However, it doubtless faces the same potential threats as many other species with similar habitats. These include habitat loss and climate change.
Blue Death Feigning Beetle Physical Description
Perhaps most notably, the remarkable Blue Death Feigning Beetle is actually black in color. But, a simple explanation clarifies the confusion over its coloring. The blue comes from a chemical coating that it secretes from its body at will.
But, such a rather interesting adaptation does serve a fully functional purpose, however. This coating serves to protect it from the harmful effects of sunlight. Given the heat and aridity of its native environment, this is a vital evolutionary trait.
Further, this rather fascinating invertebrate also remains quite small in size. A total overall length averages between 0.7 – 0.8 in (18 – 21 mm). The species does display sexual dimorphism, but only to a very small degree. Males average about 0.5 mm smaller in size than the females of the species.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Coleoptera
- Family: Tenebrionidae
- Genus: Asbolus
- Species: A. verrucosus
Blue Death Feigning Beetle Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The truly remarkable Blue Death Feigning Beetle evolved as endemic to the desert regions of North America. Furthermore, the great majority of its population appears in the northwest section of the continental United States.
There, it shows definite preferences for its choice of habitat. Given the nature of its environment, this represents a vital necessity. As a result, it typically appears crawling either on or around the protective shelter of sand dunes.
In addition, although it hunts by both day and night, it remains primarily nocturnal. The fascinating creature also appears to be an opportunistic feeder. As a result, it principally consumes a variety of plants, as well as any carrion available.
Finally, the remarkable Blue Death Feigning Beetle also appears to be extremely long-lived compared to related species. That’s because it can live for as long as ten years. Unfortunately, this only serves to make it even more popular as an exotic pet.