When I was choosing my additional Giant Microbes stock I instantly fell in love with the Giant Microbes Bookworm and how could you not? Wouldn't this make the perfect gift for anyone wanting to buy something for someone who has always got their nose in a book or for someone you know who is a bright spark.
FACTS: Lots of microorganisms like to curl up with a good book – and eat it. Silverfish and booklice are some of the more commonly encountered specimens, not to mention termites, moths, cockroaches, carpet beetles, biscuit beetles, drugstore beetles, powder-post beetles, spider beetles, larder beetles, death-watch beetles, and a host of others.
However, Anobium punctatum is the classic bookworm primarily responsible for tunneling holes through the pages of old codices and manuscripts. (A. punctatum also works a day job as the common furniture beetle, which is where it is more often encountered today.)
It is the larvae of A. punctatum that is actually the 8.49. It spends up to five years devouring pulpy leaves of fact and fiction. Then it pupates, undergoes a metamorphosis, spreads its wings, and flies away:
The bookful blockhead, ignorantly read, With loads of learned lumber in his head.
Bookworms are a group of larval beetles that feed on wood and paper. Anobium puntatum is a common wood-dwelling beetle found in seasoned sapwood timbers, which is the tasty outmost layer of a tree after it’s been cut down and dried. The larvae eat the wood and the adult beetles lay eggs in the cracks and holes. They can sometimes eat their way into books on wooden shelves. That brings a whole new meaning behind having to “eat your words”.
Did you know ...
Woodworms found in London’s Westminster Hall in 1918 had been feasting on the timber roof for 400 years! They came for the food, but stayed for the history!