The Kid Should See This

A leaf-rolling weevil crafts its nest with careful folds

See how the female six-spotted leaf-rolling weevil expertly crafts a cocoon-like leaf-roll with a Rabdosia trichocarpa leaf. Filmed in Japan by Sigma1920HD, this silent time-lapse of the nidification process was reconstructed from the work of two insects over two days in June of 2012. The rolling starts around 2m30s. The nidus provides shelter and food for the insects’ egg and resulting larva.

Here’s another nidus being made with a Japanese Elm leaf at 10x speed.

At first, she made nicks on the chosen leaf from both sides of a costa near the stalk. Then she waited for the leaf to wither under the nicks. Next, the female started rolling up the folded leaf to make a nidus and lay her egg(s) inside. Meanwhile, a male kept mounting on her and sometimes patrolled around the leaf as the post-copulatory mate-guarding until the nidus was almost completed. As a final touch, she folded back the remaining part of leaf in order to make a fastening lid. At last, she cut off the completed nidus from the nicked leaf. Filmed for 2 hrs (16:07 – 18:06 pm) in the windy afternoon of mid-May 2016 in Japan.

Entomologist Gwen Pearson also shared an up-close, real-time video of another weevil as she carefully folds the leaf into a nest.

Watch this video next: The Giraffe Weevil of Madagascar.

Plus: A butterfly’s metamorphosis, how do cliff swallows build their mud pellet nests? and why do leafcutter ants cut leaves and carry them away?

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