With the temperatures reaching pleasant levels, insects wake up from the winter slumber to return to their daily activities. And we were ready to catch them.
To study beetles, it is often helpful to rear and breed them in laboratory conditions, where they get enough food and are not threatened by predators or competition. This time of the year is ideal for catching Thanatophilus sinuatus, a common open landscape necrophagous beetle. We lure them with rotting meet, because the stench of death is what these guys are after. We must however cover the bait with cages, as vertebrate scavengers (including your cute pet dog) would love to take a bite of this juicy bait as well. We check the traps regularly, add more meat if necessary and bring the beetles we find back to our lab. Today we found a male and a female, apparently having a dinner date.