Larvae of Passalid beetles prevent mold growth.
"Al Gillogly, who has studied passalid [beetles] in Panama for years…had just shooed a snake from the entrance to a labyrinth of tunnels in a fallen tree where juvenile beetles had helped their parents rear new larvae. 'These chambers seem to stay mold free for months after the passalids leave.' Apparently, the beetles produce something that blocks the growth of fungus." (Chadwick 1998:106)
Learn more about this functional adaptation.
- Chadwick, D. H. 1998. Planet of the Beetles: From humble ladybugs to brilliant scarabs, beetles both help and bedevil us. A third of the world's identified insects are beetles, and they are everywhere. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. 193: 100-119.