Bee-utiful! Beetle with gigantic ‘Kim Kardashian’ lashes shocks Aussie
- The ‘Kim Kardashian beetle’ was found by Jenny Stamp, 45, in Western Australia
- The insect is black and white with long lashes, known as feather-horned beetle
- The lashes are the antennae, the sensory organs of insects, also used for mating
An Australian equestrian was in for a shock when she encountered the Kim Kardashian of the insect world, complete with huge glam eyelashes, near her stables.
Jenny Stamp, 45, found the freaky beetle draped in shimmering black and white at a paddock in Orange Grove, Western Australia.
‘I had never seen one before. In fact, I’ve not seen anything with beautiful lashes like this,’ said Stamp whose friend was the first person spotted the stunning insect.
‘We were quite surprised to see one. We were fascinated by it and wanted to know what it was,’ said Stamp.
The creature is the mysterious Rhipicera femorata, better known as the feather-horned beetle
According to experts, the creature is the mysterious Rhipicera femorata, better known as the feather-horned beetle.
Just like with humans, the creature’s so-called lashes have a part to play in sexual attraction.
‘These are the antennae – the sensory organs of insects,’ said Markus Riegler, a professor at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University.
The lashes are important for insects to locate food sources and mating partners, but also to avoid enemies, smoke, heat etc
The antennae are for sensing – touch, air motion, heat, and vibration – but most importantly, they receive and send chemical cues.
‘This is really important for insects to locate food sources and mating partners, but also to avoid enemies, smoke, heat etc,’ said Professor Riegler.
When Stamp shared her photos of the creature online the lashes even had some humans jealous.
The insect has ‘Kim Kardashian lashes’. The founder said: ‘I had never seen one before. In fact, I’ve not seen anything with beautiful lashes like this’
‘I have lash envy,’ one person wrote.
Another commented: ‘Black and white has never looked that good on me and not to mention those lashes – they’re to die for.’
The largest lashes are found on the male of the species, which outnumber females by as much as eight to one.
Using the antennae, the male beetle can detect a mating pheromone emitted by the female.
An Australian equestrian was in for a shock when she encountered the Kim Kardashian of the insect world, complete with huge glam eyelashes, near her stables
Much about of the creature’s lifestyle and habits remain a mystery.
However, it’s thought that they may parasitise cicadas in their youth, and that they’re most at home in sandy swamplands.
‘I do not know – and possibly it has not yet been studied – but I could imagine that their life cycle from egg-larva-pupa-adult takes several years,’ said Riegler.
‘I could imagine that key bits of the life cycle are still unknown, ie how do adult beetles locate cicada nymphs or eggs to lay their own eggs on.
‘It would be a cool project to investigate but could be quite a complex undertaking,’ said Riegler.
For Stamp, her encounter was a reminder of the incredible things that exist in nature.
‘There are some fascinating bugs out there to be found,’ she said.
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