Subject: Re: Diamond backed Beetle
Location: Brazil
April 10, 2013 4:23 pm
I think I identified it, but not from a picture. I can’t find a picture anywhere.
It is an Imperial Diamond Beetle found mostly in South America. I identified it from a description found in an online Heritage Dictionary for an Imperial Diamond Beetle of Brazil, Zoology by George Shaw. It also has a sketch. It is also described in Chamber’s Encyclopaedia.
Am I correct? Do you know where I may find other photographs?
Thank you!
Signature: Gabrielle

Diamond Weevil

Diamond Weevil

Dear Gabrielle,
Our search for Imperial Diamond Beetle did not turn up anything, but we recognized this beetle as a Weevil, so we searched “weevil Brazil” and we were led to the site and a description of the Diamond Weevil,
Entimus imperialis.  According to  “The scales are a type of three-dimensional crystal, called a photonic crystal, which is much like an opal. Each kind of photonic crystal reflects a specific wavelength of light at a specific orientation. Other crystals lacking a regular 3-D structure, meanwhile, aren’t as brilliant or iridescent.”  Democratic Underground is another place to find information on the Diamond Weevil:  “The reason some insects change color depending on the angle you look at them is due to the structure of their pigmentation — specifically the number of dimensions and shape of photonic crystals on their exoskeleton. Entimus imperialis has three-dimensional photonic crystals in these pits, arranged in a diamond-type structure. The functional effect of this is that depending on your distance and the lighting, the insect can look remarkably different. ”

Thanks for your help in identifying this beetle.
FYI: The entry called it an Imperial Beetle (without the diamond) – my mistake. So that’s why I couldn’t find any photos anywhere. But I believe they are one and the same.

Location: Brazil

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