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Cold weather and its effect on beetle larvae

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While on a collecting trip last Friday I came across a tree stump with fecal pellets inside. As I started digging through it I pulled out 5 dead Phileurus truncatus larvae that were cold to the touch along with one barely alive larva. Temperatures that day were in the mid 50's and the night before where in the mid 40's. It does not normally get this cold in Central FL and if it does its for a day or two. Its interesting to see that specimens may only be adapted to temperatures in the area they live in since P. truncatus can be found in other states, especially ones that get much more colder than Florida. It may also depend on how much insulation the tree or stump can provide for the larvae living within. I did not find an adult female living with the larvae inside this tree.









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The only reason the one was found alive is because the larva was insulated from the others all around it. It was injured fom the cold and would have died anyway. I had it in perfect sub.

When we found the lone survivor he was spitting stuff up.

Hopefully that particular tree was just very poorly insulated, and the truncatus in normal dead trees survived. I think most the larvae in smaller diameter branches like the jewel beetle larvae that I found, froze and died. I guess the next few weeks will tell.

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