Is it a rock star or a beetle?

The insects have not ceased to amaze us. Perhaps because they constitute no less than 85% of animal biodiversity. Thus, there is something for everyone. And of all colors. Like this incredible beetle in a rock star outfit!

Don’t you think he looks like David Bowie? The extravagance of a rock star. Even if, let’s face it, the swaying is not there. Normal, after all, for this small warty beetle of the very large family of Chrysomelae. Scientists know of some 37,000 species distributed around the world. And this one lives in the heart of Ecuador, in the Amazon rainforest. It is of the genus Chlamisus of which more than 100 species have been described.

Leaf beetles are herbivores. And that’s why this one, dressed in his best evening dress, paces a leaf. To find food there. Quite simply.

A defense strategy

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But how to explain this dazzling color? Even though most animals – especially the smallest ones like this beetle which measures no more than 6 millimeters – seek to blend into their environment to give themselves more chances of escaping their predators. Predators to which the beetles, precisely, are particularly exposed. because of their way of life.

Well, imagine that this flashy color can initially act as a warning signal. In nature, bright colors often hide toxic substances. Predators are wary of it. Moreover, many leaf beetles actually emit, in case of danger, substances which make it possible to dissuade their attackers. In this case, it is rumored that, in this way, this beetle is mainly trying to pass itself off as caterpillar droppings. Avoiding being devoured by birds. It remains to be seen what kind of caterpillar can have purple droppings!

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