Sat 06 Jun 2020

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Black beetles invade Damascus… What is “Calosoma insect”? 

Calosoma insect (agricultural media in Syria)

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Many local pages on “Facebook” have published pictures about the spread of the “Calosoma” insect, known as the black beetle, in huge numbers throughout Damascus and its countryside.

In the past two years and this year, the spread was observed in some Syrian cities, such as Damascus, along with its countryside, Homs and Hama. 

Abd al-Hadi Obaid, an agricultural engineer, clarified to Enab Baladi, that the spread of this insect, in the past two years and the current year, is potentially caused by heavy rainfalls which provide moisture and vegetation appropriate for it. Obaid noted that this type of insect usually hides between grasses and plants in moist soil, and comes out to the surface at high temperatures.

In an interview with Enab Baladi, the agricultural engineer, Anas Abu Tarboush, pointed out that the Calosoma insect is not harmful to humans or crops, but rather beneficial, as it lives on harmful insects in orchards and forests. 

He added that there is no reason to use pesticides against them since the reproduction of these insect species is essential to maintain environmental balance.

Abu Tarboush pointed out that these lady beetles feed on the larvae of butterflies, which spread a while ago, considered harmful to plants. Thus, a total absence of them may damage the agricultural pest.

About these insects invading homes, Abu Tarboush said that they are attracted to lighting at night, which explains their rush towards some residential areas in the evenings.

Black beetles 

These beetles officially called “Calosoma Olivieri,” are known in the Arab world by black beetles or Calosoma insects. 

The life cycle of a black beetle is very short and ranges between 22 and 26 days only. These lady insects are active only at night and feed on harmful insects and worms in the soil and plants. Consequently, a total absence of them may damage the agricultural pest. 

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