The Kid Should See This

Jewel bugs and beetles take off in slow motion

When a Eucorysses grandis, a Poecilocoris lewisi, a Harmonia axyridis (a coccinellid beetle), or an Anoplophora malasiaca fly away, they unsheath their wings from protective covers. This slow motion video from wildlife videographer Fumihiko Hirai shares how beetles and true bugs take off in this way, all set to mechanical sound effects. Featured insects are listed by name here.

The title of the video is scutellum/小楯板 or “little shield” in Latin. Though beetles, bees, jewel bugs are mixed into the video, the name specifically refers to the “small triangular plate behind the pronotum and between the forewing bases” on the insect.

“The scutellum is an extension of the thorax, unlike the elytra of beetles which are hardened forewings.” From Wikipedia:

Scutelleridae is a family of true bugs. They are commonly known as jewel bugs or metallic shield bugs due to their often brilliant coloration. They are also known as shield-backed bugs due to the enlargement of the thoracic scutellum into a continuous shield over the abdomen and wings. This latter characteristic distinguishes them from most other families within Heteroptera, and may lead to misidentification as a beetle rather than a bug. These insects feed on plant juices from a variety of different species, including some commercial crops. Closely related to stink bugs, they may also produce an offensive odor when disturbed. There are around 450 species worldwide.

Eucorysses grandis
Related watching: Slow motion ladybugs look like they can’t fly before they do, the large and surprising creatures of InsecthausTV, and a simple way to tell insects apart: Look at their mouthparts.

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