Posted by: scrubmuncher | June 28, 2012

Animal architecture 2

In the last post, we were introduced to an industrious, leaf-rolling weevil. This post concerns a related, albeit more glamorous species that uses aspen leaves instead of birch leaves to make food nurseries for its young:

Image

A female Byctiscus populi, the polar leaf-rolling weevil (Ross Piper).

In the UK this species is rather rare and only known from a few sites. What makes this species particularly interesting is that adults sometimes cooperate to roll leaves and the males use small spines on their pronotum (visible in the image below) to wrestle other males for access to the females.

Image

Male (top) and female Byctiscus populi. The males lock spines (visible on the pronotum) in their efforts to win mates (Ross Piper).

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