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robertogreco : beetles   6

Lifetime of a Dynastes Hercules Rhinoceros Beetle - Incredible Metamorphosis Timelapse - YouTube
"he Hercules beetle (Dynastes hercules, Dynastinae) is a rhinoceros beetle native to the rainforests of Central America, South America, Lesser Antilles, and the Andes. They are large beetles, with some males reaching 17.5 cm including the horn, and a slightly iridescent coloration to their elytra, which also vary in color from beetle to beetle, and even depending on the humidity. Dynastes hercules is highly sexually dimorphic, with only males exhibiting the characteristic horn. Several subspecies have been named, though there is still some uncertainty as to the validity of the named taxa. Reports suggest the Hercules beetle is able to carry up to 850 times its body mass but actual measurements on a much smaller (and relatively stronger: see square-cube law) species of rhinoceros beetle shows a carrying capacity only up to 100 times their body mass, at which point they can barely move.

Life cycle

The larval stage of the Hercules beetle will last one to two years, with the larva growing up to 4.5 inches (11 cm) in length and weighing more than 100 grams. Much of the life of the larva is spent tunneling through rotting wood. After the larval period, transformation into a pupa, and moulting, the beetle then emerges as an adult.

Diet

The larval stage of the Hercules beetle will feed on rotting wood during this two year stage.The adult Hercules beetle feeds on fresh and rotting fruit. They have been observed feeding on peaches, pear, apple, and grapes within captivity."
beetles  classideas  insects  science  metamorphosis  2017 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Beetles so bright, you gotta wear shades - life - 15 August 2014 - New Scientist
[Compare to "Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it"
https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:e722164008e3 ]

"What is whiter than white? These beetles, apparently – because their scales make them whiter than paper. No human technology can match their brilliance using such thin material.

The scales of the Cyphochilus (pictured above) and Lepidiota stigma beetles, which are native to South-East Asia, contain tight, complex networks of chitin filaments (see image below). Chitin is a substance with a similar molecular structure to cellulose, and it builds the cell walls of fungi and the shells of crustaceans as well as insect exoskeletons.

On their own, the chitin filaments reflect light poorly. But researchers at the University of Cambridge and the European Laboratory for Non-linear Spectroscopy in Florence, Italy, have found that the geometry of a filament network makes the whole thing reflect light extremely efficiently. It reflects light of all colours anisotropically, meaning that it bounces the light in one direction only. That makes the beetles' scales appear bright white.

"These scales have a structure that is truly complex, since it gives rise to something that is more than the sum of its parts," said team member Matteo Burresi of the Italian National Institute of Optics in Florence. "A randomly packed collection of its constituent elements by itself is not sufficient to achieve the degree of brightness that we observe."

What sets the brilliant beetles apart from artificial reflectors, though, is that the scales are ultra-thin. Their individual chitin filaments are just a few thousandths of a millimetre thick, minimising weight and so reducing the energy the beetles need to fly. It may not be too long before these beetles are inspiring a host of new materials that will be whiter than white too."
white  color  insects  beetles  reflection  light  2014  brightness  materials  nature 
august 2014 by robertogreco

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