An aquatic water beetle has been documented being eaten by a frog and then surviving through the amphibian’s digestive system before getting expelled
An aquatic water beetle has been documented being eaten by a frog and then surviving through the amphibian’s digestive system before getting expelled out the frog’s vent’ or anus with other feces.
A study in the journal Current Biology details how the beetle, Regimbartia attenuata was able to live through the digestive tracts of five frog species, (Pelophylax nigromaculatus, Glandirana rugosa, Pelophylax porosus, Fejervarya kawamurai, and Hyla japonica) and escape via the frog’s vent, or anus.
“Although adult beetles were easily eaten by frogs, 90% of swallowed beetles were excreted within 6 h (0.1–6.0 h) after being eaten and, surprisingly, were still alive,” Shinji Sugiura of Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Kobe University, Kobe, 657-8501, Japan, wrote in the paper.
Shinji Sugiura noted in his study that the beetles used their legs in the frog’s digestive tract to help them escape.
“When beetle legs were experimentally fixed with wax, all of the treated beetles were killed in the frogs’ digestive system and finally excreted >24 h (38.3–150.3 h) after consumption,” Sugiura wrote in the paper. “Therefore, swallowed beetles likely used their legs to move through the digestive tract toward the frog vent, hastening their escape.”
Sugiura also noted that other beetle species did not fare as well as Regimbartia attenuata. Most were digested and then expelled out the frog’s cloaca.