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The Guide to Nature Guides of Hong Kong

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The Sagra beetle, photographed while eating.

August 20, 2018

 

(See tomorrow for the phogoraphy blog post)

Firstly, a bit more about this wonderful beetle. This brightly coloured, iridescent species
can be found across Southeast Asia, and  can grow up to 5 cm long. It doesn't use its hind legs for jumping, instead they're used to cling onto stems and foliage while it eats, and its grip is aided by scores of tiny hair follicles that cover the surface pads of its "feet" (I will do a blog later on super macro photography, showing this). But it is also believed that these larger legs evolved as the result of male-on-male contests over females.

Adult and larval beetles feed on all sorts of plant tissue, and can be a pest of cultivated plants. This chappy was happily chewing away on some Lima Bean stalks, and they can act as a vector of plant diseases.
Unfortunately, because of their wonderful colours they are highly popular among insect collectors, and you can find them enclosed in glass, mounted, or in plastic cases as key chains.

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