Dazzling new mimic beetles found, may already be under threat
Jewel weevils are so good at deterring predators with their iridescent displays, other beetles are mimicking them, new research shows.
High up in the rainforests of the Philippines’ Mindanao Island, biologist Analyn Cabras spends her days handling tiny, iridescent insects with the delicacy of defusing a bomb.
Jewel weevils can sense the smallest vibrations, so that if a predator (or scientist) bumps the branch they’re standing on, the critters instinctively dive to the forest floor below. They then go belly up, their dark color blending into the ground.
“When we find a very rare species we try our best to be as cautious as possible, or else they will fall to the leaf litter, and once they do so, it will almost be impossible to find them,” says Cabras, a National Geographic Society Explorer and head researcher of