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Here’s A Bee Who Lives In Turds To Make You Feel Better About Your Place

By / 10.26.12

Have a crappy apartment? Water pressure maybe isn’t great, maybe the paint’s peeling, maybe there are a few holes in the walls where dark shadowy beings whisper the terrible secrets of the void and cost a fortune to get Terminix to get rid of?

No matter where you live, you can take some solace from trichothurgus bolithophilus, a new species of bee discovered in Argentina.

It lives in poop. What’s especially bizarre, though, is that nobody is really sure why it does this, since biologically speaking, it makes zero sense.

Essentially, what this bee does is find a dried out horse “pad” and tunnel into it. It’s not entirely without precedent: Insects that live in soil and can’t find suitable homes have been known to turn to dried out manure in an absolute emergency. This is the first known bee to make a habit of it.

But it might be for the same reasons. The area in Argentina where T. bolithophilus was found have only had horses introduced to them relatively recently. Secondly, as a house, dried manure is a terrible building material: It’s fragile, easily destroyed by wind and is, well, poop.

Researchers theorize that the bee might have been thrown out of its previous places by some unknown factor: It could prefer to tunnel into moss or local cacti. It doesn’t seem to form colonies, so that might make sense, although it does raise the question of what changed.

Or maybe it’s just gross. We’re just saying, it does voluntarily live in poop.


TAGSBEESbiologyNOT THE BEESscience

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