This Epic Battle Between Beetles Is Like a Scene From an Action Film
During the spring, the Namaqualand flower fields in southern Africa play host to a scene that’s both savage and constructive. As the cold dies down and the flowers start to bloom in August, tiny monkey beetles emerge from beneath the ground, where they spent their larval days, to feed on pollen and create the next beetle generation.
However, as naturalist David Attenborough narrates, sometimes fights between male beetles seeking the admiration of a female can break out in sharp contrast to the beauty that surrounds them.
Each battle takes place atop a flower, where the females exclusively choose to mate, and can become so pitched that the males sometimes forget about the females, who may fly away or be pushed off the flower in the heat of the fight. Despite the violent nature of these meetings, the mating ritual also benefits the flowers. As beetles travel from blossom to blossom in search of females, they also ferry pollen, ensuring the flowers’ survival as a species.
Nature is full of great symbiotic relationships. You’ll be surprised to learn that even ants and caterpillars can sometimes work together!