Thursday

Radar Weevil!

This is the radar weevil:  (Curculio nucum) aka the acorn weevil and the long snout tells us she is female.   

This lovely appendage is not merely an accessory to the equally lovely shoes she is wearing. She will use it to build a place where her children can grow up safely, and, during her spare time, she'll use it to scan the skies for high-frequency signals from alien life forms.
On the child-rearing front, she will make a hole in an acorn into which she will deposit an egg. She will then hope that nobody is looking while she seals it with her own special hole-sealing recipe, which consists mostly of feces. Seriously -- that's how they do it.
Macro photograph of an Acorn weevil (Curculio nucum,) walking on a leaf in Virginia.
Acorn weevil (Curculio nucum.
I'm not sure how frequently she checks the skies for those signals — I'll guess she does it at night when the stars are out, and the children are sleeping. I'll also guess that she occasionally picks up some dots and dashes or the distant babble of alien voices.
If you get too close to a weevil, it will likely deploy its primary defense and fall off its leaf. Very occasionally, they spread their wings as they fall and take flight -- but usually, they just plunge to the ground.
I think this is probably more effective than it sounds. In fact, I've spent a fair amount of time looking for weevils that have fallen off leaves. Once down in the leaf litter, the typical weevil is extremely hard to spot since they tend to be the same color as leaf litter. They also tuck their little legs under them and play dead.