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Boo! (Or, evolution is awesome)

The yellow fruit beetle or garden fruit chafer is a familiar pest to gardeners throughout Africa. (See more pictures.) They're nearly indestructible, and you don't want to touch them unless you want your hand to stink for days. Buried headfirst into the fruit or flower they're consuming, this is the view they present to potential predators -- and I only clicked last October what it is they want us to see.

 

Incredible. The eyes, the gaping mouth, even the shiny white teeth. It's astounding something like this can evolve.

 

So far I've not found any mention of this mimicry in the scientific literature. I've therefore not added it to the Wikipedia entry as it would be original research. But I've added the photo to the Scarabaeidae gallery though -- readers can draw their own conclusions.

 

UPDATE 30/3/2011: See comment below by Prof. Renzo Perissinotto at the School of Biological & Conservation Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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Taken on October 18, 2009