19 December 2014

Hoherius meinertzhageni

Here's another example of one of the world's wonders that most people will never see. These tiny beetles, only about the size of a match head, live only in New Zealand and only on plants in the mallow family — mostly lacebarks and ribbonwoods (as far as I know, but we know so little about them that any surprises won't be surprising). The colours and textures often camouflage them well and are strikingly beautiful as well, but it's the male's huge and bizarrely flattened head that might be one of their most fascinating characteristics. In this profile photograph (the only one I managed) you can get some impression of the the size (yes, those are his jaws nibbling on the twig) but to appreciate the true strangeness you need to see him head on. I'll see if I can find some more and get some better photographs.



All content © 2014 Pete McGregor

6 comments:

Deb said...

Fantastic Pete! I will keep my eyes open for them now, I don't recall seeing one before.

Barbara Butler McCoy said...

Don't know what's 'cooler' - the photo, the creature, or its name! Love it. Thanks, Pete - and Merry Christmas!

pohanginapete said...

Cheers Deb. Let me know if you find any; someone at Auckland University's trying to study them but is having difficulty finding them.

Barbara, they're awesome little animals and I'm always amused by the fact their name is so much longer than they are ;^) A very merry Christmas to you, too!

robin andrea said...

That is a delightful little beetle. It has such presence for such a tiny critter. Beautiful photograph.

Lisa Emerson said...

Pete, your photos always let me see something new - or something familiar in a new way. Thank you for this astonishing photograph!

pohanginapete said...

Thank you Robin. I must see if I can find some more so I can show you the male's remarkable face — it's utterly alien.

Lisa, I get great delight from showing people things that are right here but not seen :^)