“Flat bark beetles,” are a family of distinctively flat insects found nearly worldwide under the bark of dead trees. Both larvae and adults live under bark; other than that, little is known of their habits.
The Red Flat Bark Beetle has two “claims to fame.” The first should be obvious – this barely 3/8 of an inch long creature has extraordinary coloration.
The second thing this insect is known for is the ability to survive extreme cold. Red Flat Bark Beetles can survive temperatures as low as -238°F (–150°C). They manage this by producing a type of antifreeze protein. Being able to withstand “unearthly” temperatures has allowed this beetle to reside in parts of the Arctic.
Their flattened bodies enable them to travel under loose bark with little effort. These beetles are considered beneficial to man because they eat harmful wood boring beetles that can damage timber. Their larvae are thought to be predatory as well.
The diversity of insect life is astonishing, and the Red Flat Bark Beetle is just another example of six-legged awesomeness.