Jewel Beetle (Julodimorpha bakewelli)

Photo courtesy of Bo Wong

West Australian Jewel Beetle

Julidomorpha bakewelli

In the 1980s, Australian male jewel beetles were often encountered trying to mate with beer bottles. In an unfortunate coincidence, local bottle manufacturers produced “stubby” bottles that mimicked the colour and texture of a female beetle. This formed the basis of an “evolutionary trap”, where males couldn’t help but respond to what they thought were the sexual cues of a fertile female.


Story contribution:

Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr
Tissue Culture & Art Project
SymbioticA, The Centre for Excellence in Biological Arts
School of Human Sciences + School of Design
The University of Western Australia