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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Help identifying strange insect casing


Hi there,

We were camping on the west coast of Vancouver Island, at the Pachedat First Nations Camp Ground, and my daughter was digging in the sand.  About 6 inches down she found a strange bug - it sort of looked like the casing of a caterpillar, and like something was growing inside of it.  We weren't sure if it was dead or going through some sort of change.  There were tiny little white spiders crawling on it and we wondered if they were feeding off of it?  I have a picture I am including.


Very nice image of a scarab beetle grub, the larval stage of something like a May beetle or June beetle.  They feed underground on roots.

The white "spiders" may have been mites of some sort.  Mites are related to spiders, and some of them are free-living while others are parasites on insects or other organisms.

I would love to have this image to write a blog entry about different insects that I am asked about here on  If you would be willing to share this with me, please e-mail the image file to me along with your name (name of photographer), date and location the image was taken, and any other pertinent information.

Here is more about scarab beetle grubs:

Thanks for sharing your image.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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