Giraffe Weevil (Trachelophorus giraffa)
The giraffe weevil is a weevil species endemic to the forests of Madagascar. It was discovered in 2008, hence little is known about it. As you have probably guessed, its named this way due to having an extended neck, much like giraffes do.
Giraffe weevil Description
The giraffe weevil is sexually dimorphic, meaning that there is a great phenotypic difference between males and females of the same species. Specifically, males have a neck that is 2 to 3 times longer than their female counterparts. The extended neck is an adaptation that is used for intraspecific combat and nest building.
Males have a length of almost an inch (2.5 cm), making them one of the longest Attelabidae species.
Most of their body is black, except for their distinctive red elytra that cover their wings. The species is capable of flight.
Giraffe weevil Diet
They are herbivore insects, with adults 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.
Giraffe weevil Reproduction
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.
The winner then mates with the female. The female then secures a leaf - from Dichaetanthera arborea - and uses it to build a cigar-like nest. To do so, she will fold and curl it multiple times. Then, she lays a single egg inside the leaf. Finally, she snips the leaf from the plant, which falls to the forest floor. The leaf will provides sustenance to the newly-hatched larvae during its first days of life.
This leaf-rolling behaviour is not unique to the giraffe weevil, its something all Attelabidae species do and this is why they are commonly known as the leaf-rolling weevils.
Giraffe weevil Interesting Facts
- Despite their somewhat frightening appearance, they are not dangerous to humans
- Lasiorynchus barbicornis is an unrelated species from New Zealand that is also called Giraffe weevil
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