With more than 14 distinct sounds made by rubbing their hind legs on their center legs, bess beetles begin sound-making early in life to beg their parents for food. The beetle lives his entire life within the confines of rotting wood, breaking down the wood and processing it into food for both larvae and adults.
Bess beetles inhabit the layer of rotting trees found between the bark and the heart of the tree. They chew the decaying wood but can't digest the cellulose like termites can. A fungus that grows on their fecal matter is consumed to provide their real nourishment. The parents prepare their own baby food for the young by chewing up a mix of fecal matter and wood. The young will be cared for until they pupate and repeat the life cycle as adults.
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