Bria has been collecting acorns for a month or so to feed to the squirrels. She has been quite insistent that she will feed them to the squirrels even going so far as building a squirrel house out of legos complete with a dryer lint nest and acorn storage!
This morning she had the acorns out and they spilled all over the dining room floor. While cleaning them up Nadia found a little white worm! Being the creepy, crawly lover she is, she immediately picked it up and wanted to keep it. Looking at it, my first instinct was "Cuterebra, get it away from my cats!" (More info on cuterebras here if you want it.) I let her put it in a jar until we could figure out what it really was, and on to google we went.
I found this page from the Iowa State University identifying it as an acorn weevil. The larvae of a brown beetle that lays eggs in acorns (or other nuts) which then hatches and bores holes in the nuts to fall to the ground where it can mature. In two years it emerges as a brown beetle! The beetles cause no harm to people, animals, or trees, just the nuts. The nuts affected by the larvae are useless (I have a feeling the squirrels aren't going to want Bria's acorns).
Upon learning this I had the girls look at the acorns for holes. They actually found several! Now I wonder where the other weevils went!
I told the girls the weevil needs dirt to survive, so Nadia willingly put him our under a tree.
Just a little learning adventure this morning; you never know what these kids will find!