Male Jewel Beetles Mate With Stubby Beer Bottles

Australian jewel beetles are sexually attracted to stubby beer bottles. These are small bottles, brown in color, that fit comfortably in the hand. Darryl Gwynne wrote about the phenomenon in a post-doctoral paper. He had noticed the behavior 23 years ago. Ultimately, the opportunity arrived to inform the world. He was awarded the Ig Nobel Prize.

Male beetles were observed mounting discarded stubbies. The bottles are the same tone of brown as female jewel beetles. Moreover, they glint in the sun like the wings of females.

Mounting the bottles is dangerous. It usually ends in death for male beetles. They are either eaten by ants or are cooked in the hot sun. It is feared that the behavior will lead to a decline in beetle numbers. However, the beetles are still present in high numbers two and half decades after the behavior was first observed.
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