Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Giraffe weevil

The giraffe weevil (Trachelophorus giraffa) is a beetle endemic to Madagascar, which means it only occurs on this island. Its name comes from an extended neck much like that of the common giraffe. The neck of the male is typically 2 to 3 times the length of that of the female. Males use their long necks to fight with other males to win the right to mate with a nearby female. They use them as a weapon to push and wrestle with the opponent. 

Giraffe weevils were only discovered in 2008. They are herbivore insects, feeding on a tree that is commonly known as the "giraffe beetle tree" (Dichaetanthera arborea). They spend most of their lives on these small trees, venturing far from them only on rare occasions. When it comes time to breed, the mother-to-be will roll and secure a leaf of the host plant and lay a single egg within the tube. She will then snip the roll from the remaining leaf. The roll falls to the forest floor and provides sustenance to the newly-hatched larvae during its first days of life.

Giraffe weevils are peaceful insects, showing no aggression towards other species.

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