The Diving Beetle Has Recently Been Rediscovered

Imagine finding an insect in your bathtub. The experience of finding an insect in your bathtub may be a creepy one. However, if this happens to you, you may want to have the insect or spider identified by a professional before you squash the little bug, and wash it down your drain. You never know, the creepy-crawly eavesdropper could be a new species of insect or spider. Many of you may find this scenario to be unbelievable, but this very scenario became a true story for one family.

Back in 1984 a couple living in Salem, Oregon discovered tiny beetles floating in the bathtub water. Little did this couple know, but the beetles in their bathtub were, at the time, unknown to science. Unfortunately, the couple cleaned their bathtub with bleach in order to get rid of the beetles, which, when you think about it, is perfectly understandable. However, this new beetle species remained lost to science, until now.

Recently, this beetle species was rediscovered, and researchers are quickly learning that this beetle is unique. Initially, the homeowners thought that the beetles were fleas, but they were not sure. In order to clear up the matter, the couple sent a few specimens to a renowned entomologist in order to have the mysterious critters identified. The insect DNA was kept on file in case a future unidentified specimen could match the genetics of the once unknown beetle. Luckily, by means of genetic analysis, the mysterious beetles were identified, and it was revealed that they are closely related to other types of beetles that live in entirely different regions of the United States. What is interesting about these beetles is that they are blind. Instead of getting around their environment by sight, these beetles use sensory hairs that are located on the beetles’ external body.

Have you ever found an insect or spider in your bathtub? If you have, then what did you do about it?

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