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Introduction

Micromalthus debilis is one of the more amazing beetles, with a very complex life cycle. It lives in rotting wood, and most specimens one finds in the wood are all females, and are larviform, either larvae or are developed enough that they can reproduce but look like larvae. Mature female "larvae" generally give birth to living larvae (without laying eggs); these young larvae are active, and with legs, and are called a "triungulin". A triungulin moults into legless female larva, which can then develop either into (1) a pupa that then emerges as awinged adult, (2) a larviform female that will itself will give birth to triungulins, (3) a larviform female that lays a single male egg that hatched into a larva that eats its mother, (4) a larviform female that can reproduce in both of the latter ways.

Females are diploid, and males are haploid.

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