Sunday Sketch: Opalescent Weevil

Insects come in many beautiful shapes, sizes, and colors – and Pachyrynchus argus, a weevil found in Australia, is gorgeous inside and out! Its iridescent patches are as structurally unique as they are lovely to look at. Whereas most insects only appear glittery in direct sunlight (due to the mirrorlike layers in their exoskeleton), P. argus’ showy shine is visible from any direction; this is made possible by the opal-like photonic crystal structure found in their cuticles.

Sketch and fact contributed by Elizabeth Postema

Source: Parker, A. R., Welch, V. L., Driver, D., & Martini, N. (2003). Opal analogue discovered in a weevil. Nature, 426, 786-787. https://doi.org/10.1038/426786a

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