Life Cycle and Development

       The Trichodes apivorus beetle develops in a wayPicture of Trichodes apivorus
 similar to the development of butterflies in that it is indirect (Hickman 2009).  More specifically, it is called holometabolous metamorphosis (Burton 1968).  This metamorphosis is shared by members of Coleoptera, and describes the four-stage life cycle in which the organism proceeds through egg, larva, pupa and adult life stages, respectively (Jaques 1951).  An individual undergoes several molts to reach its adult form, a process called ecdysis (Hickman et al. 2009).  The larvae of Trichodes apivorus are hairy and can be red or pink in color (Burton 1968).  The larvae are ectoparasites; they hatch on the flower, where the eggs have been laid.  The larvae then cling to visiting Hymenoptera and ride back to the hive where they prey upon the host's larvae (Wolcott 1947).  The food-rich environment fuels their growth and they metamorphose to the pupa stage, whereupon they develop wings, compound eyes, and jointed legs (Hickman et al. 2009).  In the final stage, the adult beetle is mature enough to mate and reproduce, thereby beginning the cycle again (Hickman et al. 2009).


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