Ant Scarab
 
Location: Calgary, AB
Date: Sept. 14, 2008
 
   Photo 1

Common Name:  Ant Scarab, Anteater Scarab

Latin Name:  Cremastocheilus sp.
                        (R. Bercha, det.)

Length:  9 - 15 mm

Range: Throughout Alberta

Habitat:  Ant nests

Time of year seen: Spring to Fall.

Diet: Ant eggs and larva

Other:  Ant Scarabs are myrmecophiles.  The adult beetles are active in the spring as the males search for females.  They gain access to ant nests by landing near them and then either crawling into them or being dragged in by the ants.  The beetle's eggs are laid inside the nest and hatch into larva which consume rotting plant material.  To avoid predation by the host ants, it is thought the larva are able to absorb nest odors into their exoskeletons.  By doing this they trick that ants into thinking that they belong in the colony.  The adult beetles may consume both ant eggs and larva.   (Evans et al, 2006)

 

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