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Deathwatch beetle, SEM

Deathwatch beetle, SEM

C032/3533

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Credit

DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Deathwatch beetle (Ptilinus basalis). These aggressive beetles feed on wood, and are found primarily in the Southeast and Northwest USA. In some regions they are second only to termites in terms of damage to wood structures. These beetles derive their name from an unusual mating call, the tapping sound of their jaws hitting the wood walls of their tunnels. The presence of yeast cells in their digestive tracts enables them to digest wood cellulose. Male adults have pectinate antennae which possess specialized chemoreceptors for sensing. Magnification: x8 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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