Peanut beetle

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The Bug Collection
Peanut Beetle
Habitat:Temperate climes, specifically in proximity to peanut plants.
Description:This insect's textured carapace is colored in shades of brown that very closely resemble the shell surrounding immature peanut pods. The waffle-like pattern begins just behind the small brownish head and ends near a small pair of tail-like protrusions behind the folded wingtips. Roughly hourglass-shaped, the carapaces are each formed of two small chitinous plates on this thum-long beetle, which protect the wings when folded. The wings are vestigial, and incapable of producing flight, but are employed in making the beetle's distinctive "chic-a-reet" mating call.
Notes:The beetle's carapace is able to change color to emulate the peanut pods during their entire growth season.

Although long thought to be a garden and peanut field pest, the peanut beetle's staple diet is aphids and small fungi. Their natural enemies are chiefly ants and spiders, although often they are wiped out of fields in the mistaken belief that they are responsible for the damage caused by the aphids and fungus they eat. Experience with mistaking the dead beetles at harvest for a peanut have taught that they are extremely unpleasant-tasting.

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