Tuesday, May 4, 2010

'Tis the Season to Hear Bugs Hit the Wall

They come in May with the rain.
At times they can drive you insane.
They make a loud buzzing sound,
then hit the wall and the ground,
and this happens over and over again.

Meet: the Abejones de Mayo.

People in the States call them "June bugs."
Scientific circles know their family name to be Scarabaeidae. (You can call them "scarab beetles" for short.)
Ancient Egyptians believed scarab beetles to be sacred.
Their colors range from brown to metallic gold.
They are common in tropical locations.
Costa Rica is home to 70 different species of abejones de mayo.

They come out once a year, and when they do, they are everywhere. They land on our desks at work, hit our bedroom windows, and even run into our heads (probably because they are dizzy after just running into a wall).

Although they are named for the month when the rainy season starts in the Central Valley ("mayo" = "May"), the beetles can be found in Costa Rica most of the year because of the many different climates around the country. And while they are all over the place around May, the adult beetles lay their eggs in the soil where the larva lives. (Unfortunately, the larva eats roots and causes damage to crops and plants.)

"Those laid in May will reach their biggest size in around November to December, when they will undergo a transformation into adulthood that takes around a month. It is then that they stay in a state of immobility until the first rains fall, usually about three months later," says Helen Thompson of A.M. Costa Rica.

Their life cycle lasts about one year. It begins in the soil and ends with a thud.

Sources: Wikipedia, A.M. Costa Rica, The Spencer Entomological Museum, FundaciĆ³n Cientec, Natural Worlds

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