Jewel Beetles

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Arachnoprince
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May 2, 2009
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Anyone remember watching that Nature series, Alien Empire? I was thinking of that show just now and I remembered these goldish-brown beetles, all males, in Australia that were attracted to the amber-brown beer bottles because they looked like very large females. I did a search out of curiosity. I guess there was a study going back 20 years ago.

Once Julodimorpha bakewelli males found a bottle, they tried copulating with it and didn't stop unless one of the people studying them placed them away from the bottles. Even marauding ants couldn't chase off the males. The researchers think that males select the largest females because those would be the ones to produce a lot of eggs.

I'm wondering if Australia still circulates those brown beer bottles.
 

zonbonzovi

Creeping beneath you
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Joined
Oct 20, 2008
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Once Julodimorpha bakewelli males found a bottle, they tried copulating with it and didn't stop unless one of the people studying them placed them away from the bottles.
I have a neighbor that does this when he's drunk. We just let him finish. (cymbal crash) Seriously though, do you have a link or recall the latin?
 

BiologicalJewels

Arachnoknight
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Joined
Dec 16, 2008
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Julidomorpha bakewelli, as mentioned in "An inordinate fondess for beetles", had "clearly unwandering encounters" as "an Australian beer manufacturer unwittingly designed a bottle that has the essential appearance and feel of a female Julidomorpha. Since the males seem to prefer the largest females as partners, the bottles always win the contest."


It appears since then the company has decided to change the bottle design so as to encourage the male Julidomorpha "to pursue close encounters with their own kind."

the bottle was known as a "stubble" and apparently the ridges at the bottom sort of "felt" like the ridges on the elytra of the female, go figure.

too bad... now I want one of those bottles :p
 
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