Contributed by Jeni Ruisch, program director, Insectary and BUGmobile
BUGmobile takes off
The BUGmobile continued to pile on the miles this fall as it visited sites around central Ohio, and also opened in place for events at CFAES’ Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory. One of the highlights of this fall has been finally getting the opportunity to thank the Faustinis for their generous donation which helped this dream become reality. They were able to step onto the BUGmobile and see for themselves the novelty and value of this one-of-a-kind vehicle. We remain on the hunt for a truck to tow this mobile zoo/classroom/laboratory to its future engagements!
Farm Science Review was by all accounts a successful week of outreach, recruiting, and networking on the part of our department. *Thank you, thank you, thank you* to all those who were willing to volunteer their time to help with outreach events this summer, and those who will lend a hand in the future. We truly could not fulfill our mission without you!
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Featured Bug Zoo Arthropod
Blue Death Feigning beetle, Asbolus verrucosus
Habitat/Range: Southwestern United States, Sonoran Desert
Diet: Generalists, will eat pretty much anything. Carrion, fruits and vegetables, commercial fish and pet food.
Lifespan: Long-lived as adults. Anecdotal reports say that they can live over a decade.
Fun Fact: Blue death feigning beetles will strike a very dramatic pose and lay very still to deter predators. Their blue color comes from wax that they spread on their exoskeleton. This wax comes from glands on the beetle and prevents dehydration. If the beetles are exposed to water or highly humid air, they will turn black. They are prolific in the wild but are difficult or even impossible to breed in captivity.