Sunday, June 10, 2012

Green Scarab Beetle, Chiloloba acuta, in Vernegues, France

Green Scarab Beetle, Chiloloba acuta, munching on a fresh rose flower in Vernegues, France. I would check the roses every morning to see what new critters the floribunda roses had attracted for me to photograph! I was never disappointed! Ironically, it was just this one particular floribunda rose bush. Perhaps it was the fragrance that attracted the insects. In any case, the large-flowered hybrid tea roses did not get anywhere near as much insect traffic. Now for the really mind-boggling part. The amazing, glossy green color results, not from green pigment, but from the prismatic microstructure in layers of chitin in the beetles outer shell. The beetle is essentially a glossy green mirror. Thus, while normal organic pigments would fade over time and exposure to the sun, the prismatic green of the scarab beetles is remarkably durable.

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