Elephant weevil (Molytinae: Orthorhinus cylindrirostris)

My insect buddy tonight – readily flying around and feigning death. I was lucky to capture the moment it took off for flight, wings extended, almost in a superman pose. Elephant weevils (Orthorhinus cylindrirostris) feed on a variety of woody plants, including grape vine, and they are major pests to wine companies. Some iridescent weevils such as Compsus spp. (Entiminae) have photonic crystals that change color depending on the angle light is refracted and enters the eye of an observer. The elephant weevil may not have a look as glamorous, but fine scales cover the entire exoskeleton, just like on the wing of a butterfly.

NSW, Australia

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High resolution: https://flic.kr/p/ZfvJnj
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High resolution: https://flic.kr/p/YUvfgs

 

37576567932_6a208682ec_kYou can see where it gets its common name

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Just like a wing of a butterfly, discrete colorful elements make up the exterior of the exoskeleton

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