libutron

smartpeopleposting:

The Glorious Jewel Scarab and the physics of light

Also known as Glorious beetle and Glorious scarab, Chrysina gloriosa (Coleoptera - Scarabaeidae), is an unmistakable beetle found in the US (western Texas, New Mexico, southeast Arizona), and Mexico (Chihuahua and Sonora) [1].

The adults reach 25 to 28 mm long and are bright green with silver stripes on the elytra. However, this beetle (and several other species of beetle in the family Scarabaeidae), actually shine brighter than they appear, the result of a light trick that only a few animals on the planet can accomplish.

The fact is that hidden within the microstructure of the beetle’s exoskeleton there are helical twists and turns that enable certain species of scarabs the rare ability to create and reflect circularly polarized light. While many animals can create and even see linearly polarized light, there are very few examples of the creation of circularly polarized light in nature, and Chrysina gloriosa, a particularly adorable species of scarab, is one of those special few [2]. 

Further readings:

Photo credit: Chrysina gloriosa from Kohl’s Ranch, Tonto National Forest, Gila Co., Arizona, 5320 ft. elev. by ©Carla Kishinami [Top] - [Bottom

libutron
libutron:

Calosoma scrutator | ©Alex Wild   (Savoy, Illinois, US)
Calosoma scrutator (Coleoptera - Carabidae), the Fiery searcher is among North America’s most attractive native insects. They can be found in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Venezuela [source].
This colorful species is one of the largest ground beetles. It can grow to almost to one and a half inches long.

libutron:

Calosoma scrutator | ©Alex Wild   (Savoy, Illinois, US)

Calosoma scrutator (Coleoptera - Carabidae), the Fiery searcher is among North America’s most attractive native insects. They can be found in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Venezuela [source].

This colorful species is one of the largest ground beetles. It can grow to almost to one and a half inches long.

libutron
libutron:

Variegated oil beetle | ©Nikola Rahmé
Meloe variegatus (Coleoptera - Meloidae) female (body length: about 40 mm).
This species of beetle oil is characterized by its chubby appearance, with abdomen well developed and rounded (hypertrophied), short elytra divergent, and lacking functional wings. This particular morphology is accompanied by a slow movement and defensive reactions (thanatosis) with the expulsion of fluids through joints. 
This species is of Palearctic distribution, it is known in Europe from Portugal to Turkey and from Italy to southern Sweden. In Asia ranges from the Urals to Manchuria and much of Siberia. Has also been documented its presence in various locations in northern Africa.

libutron:

Variegated oil beetle | ©Nikola Rahmé

Meloe variegatus (Coleoptera - Meloidae) female (body length: about 40 mm).

This species of beetle oil is characterized by its chubby appearance, with abdomen well developed and rounded (hypertrophied), short elytra divergent, and lacking functional wings. This particular morphology is accompanied by a slow movement and defensive reactions (thanatosis) with the expulsion of fluids through joints. 

This species is of Palearctic distribution, it is known in Europe from Portugal to Turkey and from Italy to southern Sweden. In Asia ranges from the Urals to Manchuria and much of Siberia. Has also been documented its presence in various locations in northern Africa.

Trilobite Beetles Are Happy Being On Land, Alive in the Present Day

by Bec Crew

I know they look like they belong in the ocean 250 million years ago, but trilobite beetles are actually pretty happy existing in the present day. On land. They hate water, what are you doing? Don’t put them in there. You’ll kill them if you do that. Found in lowland forests across Southeast Asia and India, these peculiar beetles are an enigma wrapped in an armoured shell with the tiniest head and some nice orange highlights.

The trilobite genus Duliticola belongs to the family Lycidae, commonly known as net-winged beetles. This family is a pretty interesting one, because many of its species display huge physical differences between their males and their females. Trilobite beetles are no exception.

While the females are easily recognisable – that incredible form is retained from when they were larvae – the males look entirely different. They pretty much just look like plain old beetles, with long, winged bodies and a pair of thick antennae. And all they have to look forward to is growing to 5 mm long. How embarrassing, because the females end up more than ten times larger, growing up to 6 cm long…

(read more: Running Ponies - Scientific American)

photos: T - female Duliticola paradoxa by Bernard Dupont; M - female D. hoiseni by A. F. S. L. Lok and H. H. Tan; B - female D. paradoxa by Lok and Tan

libutron
clusterpod:

Rutenalid beetle, Anoplognathus porosus.
This genus is commonly referred to as Christmas Beetles, and the family come in a variety of shiny and metallic colours.
Larvae live underground, where they will also pupate, the adults all emerging at the same time. In Australia this is midsummer, explaining their common name, where they can be extremely common in some areas.
They feed on eucalyptus.
This individual photographed on the Lyrebird Walk, near the Mount Granya summit, Mount Granya State Park, Victoria.

clusterpod:

Rutenalid beetle, Anoplognathus porosus.

This genus is commonly referred to as Christmas Beetles, and the family come in a variety of shiny and metallic colours.

Larvae live underground, where they will also pupate, the adults all emerging at the same time. In Australia this is midsummer, explaining their common name, where they can be extremely common in some areas.

They feed on eucalyptus.

This individual photographed on the Lyrebird Walk, near the Mount Granya summit, Mount Granya State Park, Victoria.

libutron
clusterpod:

Fiddler Beetle, Eupoecila australasiae.
Also known as the Rose Chafer, this beetle belongs to a genus of five species in the Scarabaeidae family.
Its name is derived from the striking markings in the shape of a violin’s F-holes and waist.
These were abundant on flowering bushes throughout the Cotter river area.
Cotter River, Australian Capital Territory.

clusterpod:

Fiddler Beetle, Eupoecila australasiae.

Also known as the Rose Chafer, this beetle belongs to a genus of five species in the Scarabaeidae family.

Its name is derived from the striking markings in the shape of a violin’s F-holes and waist.

These were abundant on flowering bushes throughout the Cotter river area.

Cotter River, Australian Capital Territory.

astronomy-to-zoology

astronomy-to-zoology:

Megetra vittata

…is a species of blister beetle (Meloidae) that is native to the southwest United States (mainly Arizona and New Mexico and neighboring states). Megetra vittata is mainly found in arid areas and like other blister beetles is capable of excreting a noxious chemical if threatened.

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Coleoptera-Polyphaga-Tenebrionoidea-Meloidae-Meloinae-Eupomphini-Megetra-M. vittata

Images: ©Frank and Vicky Giannangelo and ©hunterspoon


 

Meet the Predator that Becomes Blind When It Runs After Prey

by Ed Wong

There are 2,600 species of these long-legged predatory insects, and the fastest can sprint at up to 5 miles per hour, covering 120 of its body lengths in a single second. For comparison, Usain Bolt covers just 5 body lengths per second. To match the beetle, he’d have to run at 480 miles per hour.

Tiger beetles use this incredible speed to run down both prey and mates. But as they sprint, their environment becomes a blur because their eyes simply can’t gather enough light to form an image. They have extremely sharp vision for insects, but when they’re running, the world smears into a featureless smudge. To compensate, the beetle has to stop to spot its prey again, before resuming the chase.

It seems like a bad evolutionary joke: a hunter that loses sight of its prey whenever it runs.

But tiger beetles don’t mind because… well… they are really, really fast. They can afford to stop in the middle of a chase because they are so ridiculously quick when they’re in motion. It’s like the aforementioned Bolt pausing at the 50-metre mark for a drink, and still winning

(read more: Not Exactly Rocket Science - Nat Geo)

photos: Daniel Zurek

noworseforwear

biomorphosis:

Bombardier Beetle when threatened, sprays the attacker with a boiling hot mixture of caustic chemicals reaching 212° F (100° C). Even more impressive, the bombardier beetle can aim the poisonous eruption in the direction of the harasser.

The beetle itself is not harmed by the fiery chemical reaction. Using two special chambers inside the abdomen, the bombardier beetle mixes potent chemicals and uses an enzymatic trigger to heat and release them.

The foul concoction does burn and stain the skin. This defense proves effective against everything from hungry spiders to curious humans.

same…

libutron
libutron:

Elephant Beetle - Costa Rica | ©Laura Gosling
Megasoma elephas (Coleoptera - Scarabaeidae - Dynastinae) is one of the giants of the insect world. It is a large and distinctive tropical beetle known from southern Texas, southern Mexico, Central America, and South America.
The most distinctive feature of this beetle is what gives it its name, the long rhinoceros-like and upward-curving horn that males have. This horn has a furry covering and it splits into two at the tip. In addition to the long horn on the head, the pronotum of the male elephant beetle bears a smaller, central horn and a triangular horn on each side. The female elephant beetle is distinguished from the male by its lack of horns
This beetle ranges in size between 7–12 cm (2.75-4.75 in); males are sometimes even bigger [1].
Curious fact: the Elephant beetle is one of the species that has been used in military application experiments conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, and sponsored by the Pentagon (US), for implanting radio-equipped miniature neural stimulating power systems and remotely control the flight of the insect, creating the prototype called "cyborg beetle" which may serve as useful models for “micro air vehicles” [2]

libutron:

Elephant Beetle - Costa Rica | ©Laura Gosling

Megasoma elephas (Coleoptera - Scarabaeidae - Dynastinae) is one of the giants of the insect world. It is a large and distinctive tropical beetle known from southern Texas, southern Mexico, Central America, and South America.

The most distinctive feature of this beetle is what gives it its name, the long rhinoceros-like and upward-curving horn that males have. This horn has a furry covering and it splits into two at the tip. In addition to the long horn on the head, the pronotum of the male elephant beetle bears a smaller, central horn and a triangular horn on each side. The female elephant beetle is distinguished from the male by its lack of horns

This beetle ranges in size between 7–12 cm (2.75-4.75 in); males are sometimes even bigger [1].

Curious fact: the Elephant beetle is one of the species that has been used in military application experiments conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, and sponsored by the Pentagon (US), for implanting radio-equipped miniature neural stimulating power systems and remotely control the flight of the insect, creating the prototype called "cyborg beetle" which may serve as useful models for “micro air vehicles” [2]