National Insect Week photography competition

Wallace's Cyriopalus beetle by Tim Cockerill

Wallace’s Cyriopalus beetle

 Primary rainforest, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo

Nikon D800 with Nikon 14mm f/2.8 lens and external flash

Male longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae), like this one, often have extraordinarily impressive antennae. They are effective long-range detecting devices used to track down females, who produce a distinctive chemical signal when they are ready to mate. This species, Cyriopalus wallacei, was first collected by Alfred Russel Wallace in Sarawak, Borneo, and described as a new species in 1866 by the wonderfully named Francis Polkinghorne Pascoe. One of the larger Asian longhorn beetles, the antennae of this specimen spanned around 12cm from tip to tip. The forests in which these impressive animals live are rapidly disappearing due to logging and conversion to plantations.

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