Friday Fellow: Giraffe weevil

by Piter Kehoma Boll

Today we are going back to Madagascar, that weird African island that fights against Australia for the title of the most bizarre place on Earth. We already presented one of its inhabitants, the Grandidider’s Baobab, and today I’ll show you a tiny and unusual beetle, the giraffe weevil, Trachelophorus giraffa.

A male giraffe weevil. Photo by Frank Vassen*

A male giraffe weevil. Photo by Frank Vassen*

The reason of the name of this adorable creature is obvious at first sight. The unusual long neck most likely evolved through sexual selection, as it is three times longer in males than in females. Despite looking as something very inconvenient, the giraffe weevil’s neck is actually useful in helping it to roll leaves in order to build a nest.

Measuring only about 2.5 cm in length, it is a considerably popular animal in lists of weird creatures, but unfortunately little is known about its life history and, just as virtually all life forms in the island, is threatened by habitat loss.

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References:

EOL. Giraffe Beetle. Available at: < http://eol.org/pages/621154/overview >. Access on May 16, 2016.

Wills, C. (2010) The Darwinian Tourist: Viewing the World Through Evolutionary Eyes. Oxford University Press.

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*Creative Commons License
This image is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

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Filed under Entomology, Friday Fellow

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