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Picasso Bug - Mt. Mabu, Mozambique

Habitat: from South Africa, Ethiopia to Cameroon
Status: Not listed

Apparently Picasso used other materials besides canvas to do his work: this is a Picasso Bug which is a species of Shield-backed Bug (Sphaerocoris annulus) and its ornate exterior looks as if it had been painted by the master artist himself.

According to the tumblr blog rhamphotheca, “These beautifully patterned true bugs (order Hemiptera, family Scutelleridae) are found throughout much of sub-saharan and northeastern Africa. They feed on the nectar and internal juices of a wide variety of plants with their sucking and piercing proboscis (straw like mouth part). Eggs are deposited on the under sides of leaves. The young nymphs spend most of their time in flowers feeding, and they take a little under 2 months to molt and grow into adults (when they will become more generalized feeders).”

Nature really is amazing.

Sphaerocoris annulus, picasso beetle

photo: chris 71