Survival after digestion: water beetle stays alive after being eatean by a frog

Water beetle stays alive after being eatean by a frog

For most of the insects, being in the stomach of a predator means a certain death. Digestive juices, for example, frogs, quickly process the bodies of insects that have fallen into the stomach as a prey. However, as it turned out, there are exceptions in the nature. One species of water beetle survives the digestion process. Regimbartia acceuata crosses the frog's throat, stays in the frog's stomach for a while, slides through the intestines, and then finds itself free with absolutely no injuries and with absolute ability to continue living.

The unique feature of insects is being studied by specialists from the Museum of Comparative Zoology. According to museum's specialist Crystal Mayer, insects have an amazing set of oddities that are still unknown to the science.

In the process of digestion in the stomach of a predator, almost no one survives, but sometimes in the world of animals miracles do happen. For example, there are several species of snails that travel in the stomachs of birds or fish in their sealed shells for long periods of time. But they do not parasitize, but wait for the right moment to leave the body of their host.

At the Kobe University in Japan, the experiments, where predatory organisms are fed with the insects, determining the types of prey that are able to leave the body of the predator that eats them, are carried out. In 2018, the first prey insects were identified that way, these are the bombardier beetles.

In the stomachs of toads, they release a jet of hot, poisonous chemical compound, and the toads reject the beetles from their body. Moreoften toads and frogs act as such predators. They do not have teeth, and it explains why the eaten insects enter the stomach alive, and the frog's digestive system needs a huge amount of acidic compounds to digest food.

But it does not happen always, and the eaten victim can gain freedom. In the experiment, where 30 toads and frogs were involved, almost 90% of the insects who dined on water beetles, survived. On average, each water beetle took almost 6 hours to exit the frog's stomach.