So as you know, sometimes I come across an insect that is so preposterously awesome that I have to take an image of it, today is one of those days! The object of today’s freak-out? Hypsideroides junodi, a species of aptly-named Longhorn beetle in the family Cerambycidae. Take a look!!
What the what, right??! There isn’t much information available about this species, except that it was collected from the lush and subtropical KwaZulu-Natal Province (also referred to as the Garden Province), of South Africa. The pattern is striking, especially the concentric circles and bulls-eye like center. The funny thing is, I’ve seen a somewhat similar bulls-eye pattern like this before, but in a completely different order of insects, the Mantodea, oooooo!
This is an amazing species of flower mantis from Australia. It’s interesting to speculate about the functions similar patterns play in these divergent groups of insects. On first glance the bulls-eye pattern is very striking and almost startling in the same way butterflies with giant eyespots on their wings appear to their predators. However, what seems bold and eye-catching on one background may actually be the perfect disguise on another, so it is possible that these spots provide our longhorn beetle and flower mantis friends with the perfect camouflage against a woody or flower-filled background, respectively. OR, it could be both! Nature is complicated, like a lady.