Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Insect identified

Like many other bloggers, I found this image of a silver beetle well worthy of passing along - but not before I figured out what it is. The only clue in the article is that it is a rare beetle that lives in Costa Rica and other Central American countries. A few clicks later, I had nailed it: Plusiotis chrysargyrea. These tropical precious metal scarabs are nocturnal and like to live in cloud forests. Some can be found in the southern U.S. There are about 200 species of these "living jewels," some gold, some copper, some metallic green. The iridescent colors on their thick cuticle are comprised of multiple laminated layers of thin-film chitin with a crystal lattice microstructure that refracts and polarizes light-waves, allowing them to attract mates, discourage rivals, and blind hungry birds with their glare. Little is known about these beetles, but they have been observed eating tree roots and foliage. They can't be too hard to find or they'd retail for more than $75.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, I'm going to have to make a pillow like this...


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