Who wins when a frog meets a bombardier beetle? And other Bioblitz discoveries

A Corvallis Bioblitz participant releases a tagged bird

Examining a slug

Learning to use field guides with Rolando Beorchia, IAE Restoration Technician

The author using iNaturalist

All during the BioBlitz, everyone was busy searching for wildflowers, trees, fungi, and all sorts of critters – butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, birds. One volunteer asked if I wanted to see a bombardier beetle. He held the small dark beetle gently in his hand and told me to watch carefully as he stroked the beetle’s abdomen. Suddenly the beetle ejected a hot noxious spray with a popping sound! When disturbed, the beetle empties chemical “A” into an empty internal chamber and then empties chemical “B” into the same chamber. The mixture gets really hot (about 100C), and produces a gas that causes the spray, which can kill a predator!

So now the story of the frog and the bombardier beetle: after the BioBlitz, I watched a YouTube video of a frog sitting beside a bombardier beetle. Suddenly the beetle was gone. The frog had whipped out his sticky tongue and gulped the beetle down. The frog sat there for awhile and at first nothing happened. However, in a bit, the frog began to make gulping, gagging movements.Then suddenly the frog vomited and out came this gooey-slimy-yucky mass. As I watched, this yucky mass started moving; then it started walking away from the frog. It was the bombardier beetle!

The diversity of life is fascinating! For 20 years, IAE has been a leader in the stewardship of biodiversity. Their passion is evident in all their efforts -- scientific research, environmental education, and on the ground native habitat restoration.

The third annual 2019 Corvallis BioBlitz at Peavey Arboretum was sponsored by The Forest Biodiversity Research Network and Oregon State University.