Subject: Ground Dwelling bug
Geographic location of the bug: Henderson, KY
Time: 03:11 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hey Bugman!
I been seeing these little holes in the ground, with a bug head in em. I’m curious so for past 2 weeks been trying to lure out the dam things.
Today i managed to make a trap where i could get it out the hole.
I got it out, and took some photos. Google reverse image search is coming yp with nothing.
I AM INTRIGUED!!!
How you want your letter signed: Thanks, The Dude Man
Dear The Dude Man,
First off, congratulations on the 20th Anniversary of The Big Lebowski. Secondly, and probably more importantly, we are thrilled with your awesome images of a Tiger Beetle Larva, which is pictured on BugGuide. According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Entomology website: “The newly-hatched larva enlarges the hole and burrows perpendicularly to the soil surface. This is accomplished byloosening the soil with its mandibles and using its head and thorax like a shovel to carry the soil. At the surface, the larva flips the soil backward off its head. There are three larval stages, and larvae enlarge and lengthen their burrow as they grow. The burrow may be 18 inches or more in depth, depending on the substrate. While in their burrows, larvae can survive without food for weeks and can also survive temporary flooding. They do not leave their burrow under normal circumstances but often wait at the burrow entrance to ambush small arthropods. When a suitable victim is near, the larva attacks with lightning speed. It throws its head (usually backward) to grab the prey with its sickle-shaped jaws. Then, it pulls the prey down into the burrow to devour it. Somewhat like a spider, larvae secrete digestive enzymes to help break down their food before ingestion. Tiger beetle larvae are unique in that they have hooks located on the back of their abdomen to anchor them to the side of the burrow while they subdue large prey. Tiger beetle larvae, in turn, are fed on by hister beetles, birds, and ants, and are parasitized by bombyliids (bee flies) and several wasps. The larval period may last up to four years depending on the species.” We hope you were able to return this Tiger Beetle Larva to its hole.