Thursday, 26 June 2014

Squatter Beetles Eat Snails and Steal Shells

By Megan Gannon, News Editor | June 25, 2014 05:00pm ET

The awkward stage of adolescence drives some insects to murderous home invasion.

When the time comes to shed their skin, certain beetle larvae in Greece scout out a sleeping snail, break into its shell, eat the victim alive and then squat in its home for days.

But the snail targets aren't completely defenseless; on the contrary, they may be locked in an evolutionary arms race with the juvenile beetles, trying to outwit their intruders with break-in-proof shells and other security strategies, a new study finds.

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