BWE: Oak paradise Part II

I spent few days, visiting friends in different parts of Germany and met my custodian for my dissertation. So, again, the blogpost is late.

Nevertheless, here some more informations about the animals in this special oak tree. Here is one more longhorn beetle – with 10 to 19 mm not as big as the last one, but more colourful: It is Plagionotus detritus (Hornissenbock) – a beetle whose population is strongly vulnerable in Germany. As the former beetle, it needs oaks for its developement.

The next one is Gasterocercus depressirostris (Plattnasen-Holzrüssler) – again it is a species dependent in old oak trees. It is a small beetle with 4-11 mm of size and a relict of the original forests in central Europe. So it needs old oaks with a lot of deadwood to live. As this kind of habitat is scarce in our country, its population is strongly vulnerable in Germany, too.

 

BWE: Oak paradise Part II

BWE: Chemical defence

Many creatures have special features we are not aware of. Look at the beetle in the photo – do you think, it is a special one? No? Indeed it is! To experience this special feature, I wanted to encounter the little beetle – many thanks to Claus W. who finally helped me to find it!!

It is small, less than 10 mm and it’s name is Brachinus crepitans – in english Bombardier beetle (in German Bombardierkäfer). This name tells the truth: it is able to mix two different chemicals (Hydroquinone and Hydrogen Peroxide) in a special reaction chamber in its abdomen. As soon as it adds special enzymes, the beetle spouts this fluid out against a potential offender. This fluid is acidly, ill-smelling, has about 100°C and while the intense reaction there is a pop.

It is even possible to hear this pop! Listen to the little explosion here.

Amazing, isn’t it?!

BWE: Chemical defence