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Drilus flavescens Olivier, 1790 ♂

Drilus flavescens-M2-Lanaye.jpg <i><b>Drilus flavescens</i></b> Olivier, 1790 ♂||<img src=./_datas/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux/i/uploads/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux//2011/05/27/20110527222104-b067b0f2-th.jpg> Thumbnails <i><b>Cetonia aurata</b></i> Linnaeus, 1758||<img src=./_datas/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux/i/uploads/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux//2011/05/25/20110525214639-b952fa90-th.jpg> <i><b>Drilus flavescens</i></b> Olivier, 1790 ♂||<img src=./_datas/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux/i/uploads/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux//2011/05/27/20110527222104-b067b0f2-th.jpg> Thumbnails <i><b>Cetonia aurata</b></i> Linnaeus, 1758||<img src=./_datas/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux/i/uploads/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux//2011/05/25/20110525214639-b952fa90-th.jpg> <i><b>Drilus flavescens</i></b> Olivier, 1790 ♂||<img src=./_datas/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux/i/uploads/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux//2011/05/27/20110527222104-b067b0f2-th.jpg> Thumbnails <i><b>Cetonia aurata</b></i> Linnaeus, 1758||<img src=./_datas/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux/i/uploads/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux//2011/05/25/20110525214639-b952fa90-th.jpg> <i><b>Drilus flavescens</i></b> Olivier, 1790 ♂||<img src=./_datas/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux/i/uploads/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux//2011/05/27/20110527222104-b067b0f2-th.jpg> Thumbnails <i><b>Cetonia aurata</b></i> Linnaeus, 1758||<img src=./_datas/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux/i/uploads/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux//2011/05/25/20110525214639-b952fa90-th.jpg> <i><b>Drilus flavescens</i></b> Olivier, 1790 ♂||<img src=./_datas/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux/i/uploads/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux//2011/05/27/20110527222104-b067b0f2-th.jpg> Thumbnails <i><b>Cetonia aurata</b></i> Linnaeus, 1758||<img src=./_datas/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux/i/uploads/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux//2011/05/25/20110525214639-b952fa90-th.jpg> <i><b>Drilus flavescens</i></b> Olivier, 1790 ♂||<img src=./_datas/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux/i/uploads/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux//2011/05/27/20110527222104-b067b0f2-th.jpg> Thumbnails <i><b>Cetonia aurata</b></i> Linnaeus, 1758||<img src=./_datas/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux/i/uploads/t/6/y/t6ynvw9sux//2011/05/25/20110525214639-b952fa90-th.jpg>

Drilus flavescens Olivier, 1790 ♂
Common names: Drilid Beetle [En], Drile jaunâtre [Fr], Slakkenvreter [Nl], Schneckenhauskäfer [De]

Visé, LIEGE ● Belgium

Description: Drilus flavescens is one of the most extreme cases of sexual dimorphism in insects.
The adult males are approximately 10 millimetres (0.39 in) long. They have long comb-shaped antennas, probably utilized for detecting pheromones of females. Head and pronotum are black, while elytra are reddish, quite soft and covered of fine upstanding hairs. It can be encountered on flowers and foliage.
The females look like a caterpillar – so called larviforme females - completely lacking of wings and other adult characters.

Biology: The females live on the ground in the shells of snails, feeding of the inabitants, previously killed with a poisonous bite and sucked in with the help of digestive enzymes.
The metamorphoses of these curious insects are now perfectly understood. Mielzinsky, a Polish naturalist established at Geneva, found the Drilus in the larva state in the shell of the Helix nemoralis. These larvae devour the snail whose dwelling they occupy, as do the larvae of the Lampyris. Mielzinsky saw them emerge, but obtained only females, which differed scarcely at all from the larvae from which they proceeded. He made a separate genus of them, under the denomination of Cochleoctonus, and called the species Vorax. Later, Desmarest resumed these observations. He provided himself, at the Veterinary College of Alfort, with a number of shells of the Helix filled with the same larvae. He saw come out of them, not only Cochleoctoni, but also Drill, and he watched their coupling. It was then proved, by this unanswerable argument that these two insects, so unlike each other, belong to the same species.
The larva of the Drilus flavescens fixes itself upon the shell of the snail by a sort of sucker, like a leech. Little by little it slips in between the mollusc and its house, and devours it entirely. To change into a pupa, it shuts up the entrance to the shell with its old skin; and when arrived at the perfect state, quits the shell which served it as a temporary dwelling. The females of the Drilus flavescens take refuge under stones and dry leaves, or crawl slowly along the ground; whilst the males, which fly with great ease, are on the plants and brushwood.

Distribution: This insect is mainly present in Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Switzerland.

References:
Wikipedia, Drilus flavescens
Figuier L., 1868. The insect world: being a popular account of the orders of insects, together with a description of the habits and economy of some of the most interesting species, D.Appleton, New York.





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