A nature photographer recently captured footage of a stunning purple beetle.
David Weiller, a talented nature photographer, was working in the Rainforest of Puyo Ecuador when he decided to film a stunning leaf beetle. While there are thousands of different types of leaf beetles, the one he found was brilliant purple.
The purple beetle, also known as Chlamisus or Fulcidax, can be seen slowly making its way around a bright green leaf. Its shell is warty and almost crimped looking, giving it the appearance of being dress!
The video captured by Weiller shows incredible detail of the beautiful beetle’s body, shell, and face. He zooms in on the beetle so you can get a good look at the eyes, antennas, and legs. The beetle walks across the leaf, lifting its legs and taking big, slow steps.
According to the video description, the beetle is 6mm long.
Watch the video below:
The video was actually inspired by Andreas Kay, a fellow nature photographer who passed away in October 2019 from brain cancer. Kay had previously filmed the same leaf beetle in a beautiful video and Weiller wanted to recreate a similar video in his honor.
Despite being brightly colored, the shell’s appearance is actually a critical part of the beetle’s defense mechanism and helps the beetle blend in.
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As Kay shared in his video, while it may look like it’d draw attention, it does the opposite. The warty, bumpy appearance, paired with the coloring, helps the beetle to camouflage as caterpillar droppings! When birds are looking down on leaves trying to find beetles to snack on, these beetles appear nothing more than some dung. They can also pull their legs in to take on the shape on a specific flower, according to a synopsis published in Research Gate.
According to that study, disguising themselves as dung isn’t the only time these leaf beetles use poop to survive. The mother beetles carefully cover each individual egg in a mixture of feces and other secretions.
When the eggs hatch, the larva continue to build upon this feces “house” by adding their own feces. They remain in this contraption until they’re done molting and are fully developed beetles. Pretty neat!
What do you think of the leaf beetle and its unique shell? Let us know!Whizzco