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rhamphotheca:

Fossil Insect’s Camouflage Tricks Scientists

by Charles Choi

A fossilized scorpionfly that apparently mimicked the leaves of an ancient ginkgo-like tree has just been unearthed, researchers say. The finding adds to evidence that this form of camouflage is very ancient, the scientists added.

More than 100 years ago, scientists began noticing extraordinary resemblances between insects and plants in the fossil record, such as those between certain roaches and the leaflets of particular seed ferns. Such mimicry, also seen in living animals, likely helps protect creatures from predators, or might help them sneak up on prey.

Now paleoentomologist Dong Ren at Capital Normal University in Beijing and his colleagues have discovered another such plant mimic in northeastern China’s Inner Mongolia region.

The 165-million-year-old insect in question is a species of scorpionfly, a group that gets its name from the insects’ enlarged male genitals that resemble scorpion stingers. Specifically, the fossil, which was about 1.5 inches (38.5 millimeters) long, is a type of scorpionfly known as a hangingfly, which often hangs from surfaces waiting to snag prey…

(read more: Live Science

(images: T - Chen Wang of Capital Normal University in Beijing, PNAS; B - Yongjie Wang et al., PNAS)

(via abitofeverythingreally-deactiva)

— 1 year ago with 178 notes
#scorpion fly  #fossil  #insect  #mecoptera 
just-some-random-dougie:

No way.  You want a cute moth, look at this little sucker.

just-some-random-dougie:

No way.  You want a cute moth, look at this little sucker.

(via generallydisarray-deactivated20)

— 1 year ago with 354 notes
#moth  #lepidoptera 
insectlove:

thebeetleguy: Xylotrupes sp. Pupa de macho, noten el cuerno en el pronoto, tiene una mutación que no lo dejará aparearse apropiadamente.

insectlove:

thebeetleguyXylotrupes sp. Pupa de macho, noten el cuerno en el pronoto, tiene una mutación que no lo dejará aparearse apropiadamente.

— 1 year ago with 53 notes
#Coleoptera 
steampunkinverts:

Clockwork weevil, German, ca. 1729, a land surveillance mechanism. 

steampunkinverts:

Clockwork weevil, German, ca. 1729, a land surveillance mechanism. 

— 1 year ago with 5 notes
#Illustration  #Coleoptera