A Beetle’s Beloved Beer Bottle [60 Second Specimens]

By Brian Lemay 100 comments


This is the story of a love affair between
male Australian jewel beetles, and roadside trash. Julodimorpha bakewelli live in Australia’s
arid western regions. They’re big, orange, and bumpy– and that’s
how they like their females, too. In the 1980s, entomologists Darryl Gwynne
and David Rentz noticed a few of these male beetles were desperately attempting to mate
with discarded beer bottles on the side of the road– apparently, thinking that the bottles
were the biggest, orangest and bumpiest females they’d ever seen. To be sure, the scientists tested their hypothesis
by placing four bottles on the ground in an open area. Within a half hour, two of the bottles- the
orange, bumpy ones- had attracted additional male beetles, while regular wine bottles had
not. As amusing as this might be, it was having
serious consequences for these ambitious breeders: the males were so determined to copulate with
the beer bottles, that they were dying from dehydration, or were consumed alive by ants. As the years went on and people became more
aware to not littering the ground with trash, things seemed to improve for the beetles–
until a couple of years ago they made headlines again when it was discovered that they were mating with orange traffic cones and safety vests.

100 Comments

Marcelo Glenadel

Aug 8, 2018, 7:51 pm Reply

Basketballs?

kujmous

Aug 8, 2018, 8:04 pm Reply

This would have been a great Adam & Eve sponsorship.

Jeff Liggett

Aug 8, 2018, 8:21 pm Reply

I had heard about the beer bottles but not the cones.

VashThe Stampede

Aug 8, 2018, 8:29 pm Reply

Great story. Always found this one amusing.

Echriri

Aug 8, 2018, 8:53 pm Reply

Really really like this new format.. just saying!!

Cadwaladr

Aug 8, 2018, 9:00 pm Reply

Well, I mean, that is an awfully sexy traffic cone.

Bernardo Fajardo

Aug 8, 2018, 9:07 pm Reply

They won an IG Nobel, didn't they? I heard this story a couple of years ago, but I didn't know they've moved to traffic cones & vests.

Thats Nodildo

Aug 8, 2018, 9:19 pm Reply

wouls you like to know more

TheLonestar072

Aug 8, 2018, 9:26 pm Reply

What if they're just alcoholics?

New Message

Aug 8, 2018, 9:26 pm Reply

I hope she didn't travel all the way to Australia just for that trash shot.

Actually, that would make the whole trips tax write off..so now I hope she did?

Danny Boel

Aug 8, 2018, 9:28 pm Reply

these minute marvels are awesome!

New Message

Aug 8, 2018, 9:28 pm Reply

She should totally 'metoo' those beetles.

Steve Redenbaugh

Aug 8, 2018, 9:30 pm Reply

Since you`re wearing a safety vest I assume it`s an invitation to Copulate..

Paul F

Aug 8, 2018, 9:49 pm Reply

Oy, horny little buggers, ain't they! 🙂

Charles Uwakwe

Aug 8, 2018, 9:51 pm Reply

Now that is an insect science fetish fact for you. Freaky beetles.

Outlet Walk

Aug 8, 2018, 9:53 pm Reply

Forever Alone Beetle

Pallas Turrets

Aug 8, 2018, 9:55 pm Reply

My goldfish-level attention span is very thankful for this series

John Bare

Aug 8, 2018, 9:59 pm Reply

A horny beetle will have his way and even if it is a traffic cone he is thinking Why spoil the beauty of a thing, it's the biggest orange cone I ever saw and it is good enough for me.

Great quick video Emily!

Wilson Morris

Aug 8, 2018, 10:08 pm Reply

Those are the horniest beetles…

Zedi gan

Aug 8, 2018, 10:09 pm Reply

I was at the melbourne museum a while back and they have an area all about bugs. They a little segment about these beetles and their bottles, apparently the biologists contacted VB (the apparent beer in question) and ask them to change their bottle design. Apparently they did, and now all brown beer bottles are smooth and shiny!

sirkowski

Aug 8, 2018, 10:32 pm Reply

That's a big ass Fleshlight for a bug.

standing here

Aug 8, 2018, 10:33 pm Reply

i love these

Catsadilla

Aug 8, 2018, 10:37 pm Reply

"Doesn't matter, had sex." -beetle

Papa Jodl

Aug 8, 2018, 10:42 pm Reply

Fun and interesting

sean statham

Aug 8, 2018, 10:43 pm Reply

that is almost unbeerlivable

Dan Black

Aug 8, 2018, 10:48 pm Reply

I had heard the story about the beer bottles before — though it's always interesting and funny — but I hadn't heard of the more recent development.

Haven't the orange traffic cones and safety vests been around awhile? If they've had them in Australia for as long as we have in the U.S., is this attraction new? If so, do you or they have any idea why?

Seems like those things would be different enough from the beetles that it shouldn't be a problem. Even the beer bottles seem like they should be obviously too big to be beetles, but that's at least in the realm of being vaguely understandable.

J Cortese

Aug 8, 2018, 10:48 pm Reply

Sounds like evolution in action: in one generation, they breed less stupid males.

Justin Letchford

Aug 8, 2018, 10:54 pm Reply

The Vegemite was a nice touch, makes me proud to be an Australian fan of your work 😛

weehawk

Aug 8, 2018, 11:02 pm Reply

This really is the best series!!!

Peter Šori

Aug 8, 2018, 11:02 pm Reply

Now I want to know more! I need an ending to this story 😀

Adinan Cenci

Aug 8, 2018, 11:04 pm Reply

1:07 fucking australia, when the fauna doesn't want to kill you, it wants to violate you

Aladato

Aug 8, 2018, 11:41 pm Reply

Love is… blind and stupid?

SlyPearTree

Aug 8, 2018, 11:54 pm Reply

That was great.
/666th Like!

Raymond A.

Aug 8, 2018, 12:16 am Reply

I like my females like my ladies like I like my squash, big, orange, and bumpy

RobMidder

Aug 8, 2018, 12:18 am Reply

Are you guys posting these 60 sec videos on Twitter? I’m sure they would do pretty well on there (esp if you add subtitles)

M Silvestre

Aug 8, 2018, 12:25 am Reply

Are those… beetle earrings?

CrankyPants

Aug 8, 2018, 12:35 am Reply

Interesting story and fun delivery. Great job, Emily. (Also, this is awkward, but you might want to eliminate orange safety vests from your wardrobe from now on.)

Alex the Brewmage

Aug 8, 2018, 12:53 am Reply

I LOOOOOOOVE this new format!

DysnomiaFilms

Aug 8, 2018, 12:54 am Reply

I live in Western Australia and a while ago I was on a holiday in the Southwest and ran along a town called Boyup Brook which had at it's visitor centre one of the largest collections of jewel beetles in the world, owing to the occupancy of Keith Carnaby, an entomologist who spent his life collecting and studying jewel beetles. I picked up a book he wrote there called "Jewel Beetles of Western Australia" that contains a little information on his studies and jewel beetles, and pages upon pages of both scaled up and 1:1 scale photographs of the different specied he had found specimens of.

TheHengeProphet

Aug 8, 2018, 1:13 am Reply

Nice use of Bundaberg Ginger Beer instead of regular beer!

Steve-o

Aug 8, 2018, 1:19 am Reply

Hi Sunshine, an so the movie 50 shades of orange was inspired by the life an death of these Male Beatles. May you enjoy peace an prosperity, while manifesting all the love an light of life.

The Hard Problem

Aug 8, 2018, 1:26 am Reply

🎼Love is a many splendored thing! 🎶

François Salamé

Aug 8, 2018, 1:49 am Reply

> https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1440-6055.1983.tb01846.x

NthMetal

Aug 8, 2018, 1:57 am Reply

they should call them jersey shore beetles

since they'll bang anything orange

jerry bryant

Aug 8, 2018, 1:57 am Reply

the best yet!

Laura Hansen

Aug 8, 2018, 2:17 am Reply

I love this!

Teri Scallon

Aug 8, 2018, 2:54 am Reply

the simulations are on spot

BrotherAlpha

Aug 8, 2018, 3:04 am Reply

… If they are trying to make with traffic cones, then maybe the species deserves to go extinct.

Abnormal Wrench

Aug 8, 2018, 3:16 am Reply

Glad she didn't actually eat the Vegemite. She almost died!

James Lakey

Aug 8, 2018, 3:25 am Reply

It’s cool what you can learn in 60 seconds and it invites you to look further into the topic if it truly peaks your interest! Keep up the awesome videos and amazing work 🙂

cousin chaos

Aug 8, 2018, 3:26 am Reply

Australian mate

TheMarglue

Aug 8, 2018, 3:38 am Reply

survival of the fittest, I say.

Zig Zichterman

Aug 8, 2018, 4:01 am Reply

"A quiet dignity." Yep, that's how I would describe The Brain Scoop. Unleash the cabbage!

Anangke

Aug 8, 2018, 4:06 am Reply

Hey they like what they like 🙂

Captain Patch

Aug 8, 2018, 4:08 am Reply

Oh yes, this is going to be an amazing series. Thanks!

Catherine Lu

Aug 8, 2018, 5:16 am Reply

I soooo appreciate the small intricacies of these videos; they just make everything so much more fun. I feel like I remember these stories better than most things I learn from videos. Great work once again 🙂

asturb

Aug 8, 2018, 5:36 am Reply

Love your videos! But please, never eat a tim tam like this! You should eat them with hot beverage! Its a waste to eat them plain… here in brasil, they are as expensive as an apartment! hahahahaha

Dragon Curve Enthusiast

Aug 8, 2018, 6:28 am Reply

I like your sense of humor

Sweet Cream

Aug 8, 2018, 7:33 am Reply

BUNDABERGS

Ginny Smith Science

Aug 8, 2018, 8:25 am Reply

Fascinating! And a great example of how human made objects can cause problems in ways we might never have predicted.

Humanoid Model #421

Aug 8, 2018, 8:39 am Reply

When you had that spoon full of vegemite I was like "Do it…do iiiiiit, c'mon do iiiiiit!, awe :("

my back HURTS

Aug 8, 2018, 9:37 am Reply

Awesome

Formicade

Aug 8, 2018, 9:51 am Reply

😅

kibrika

Aug 8, 2018, 10:18 am Reply

Not the brightest beetles… Except in colour.

Mandrake Fernflower

Aug 8, 2018, 10:58 am Reply

I feel like this warrants a 5 minute video

SnowmansApartment

Aug 8, 2018, 12:05 pm Reply

By the way.. it still has brains on it 🙂

loomhigh

Aug 8, 2018, 12:23 pm Reply

you know who else lives in Australia's arid western regions?

me, it's me.

Molly Q Dyer

Aug 8, 2018, 12:27 pm Reply

These are great, but I want all of them to be longer! You give me this little tiddle of information and I want MORE.

Sera Fuchsluger

Aug 8, 2018, 1:33 pm Reply

nice use of the ginger brew there

Shannon Wold

Aug 8, 2018, 1:46 pm Reply

Who's the one person who didn't like this??

Gary Cooper

Aug 8, 2018, 3:58 pm Reply

I really like these quickie reports about museum specimens, but most of them end up being more than 60 secomds long. So maybe they should be titled “Specimens Of About 60 Seconds, Give Or Take A Few Minutes.”

Or maybe that’s my OCD talking.

tkzsfen

Aug 8, 2018, 4:29 pm Reply

trump would like to grab them by the … wings. let's send him to Australia! they'll enjoy him so much!

MrTingles

Aug 8, 2018, 8:23 pm Reply

stoopid beetuls!

David L.

Aug 8, 2018, 8:36 pm Reply

Beetles looking for love in all the wrong places.

duckpondwithoutducks

Aug 8, 2018, 9:01 pm Reply

Love it! ❤

hulagirl144

Aug 8, 2018, 12:27 am Reply

Well that was a delightful minute!

Maddie Briggs

Aug 8, 2018, 5:28 am Reply

If you can eat an entire spoonful of Vegemite, you're granted Australian citizenship.

Herbert Miller

Aug 8, 2018, 11:22 am Reply

Emily I noticed you don't eat any of your veggie.

David Kirk

Aug 8, 2018, 2:30 pm Reply

Oh how we sacrifice for our art.

Gillian Walker

Aug 8, 2018, 5:52 pm Reply

You forgot the part about Australia changing laws about coloured glass.

mikeypox

Aug 8, 2018, 10:14 am Reply

More information required! Come back! Stop Walking Away!

Alex Schindler

Aug 8, 2018, 2:18 pm Reply

I just want to appreciate that you could have chosen any brown beer bottle but you went with bottles of genuinely Australian Bundaberg ginger beer.

[email protected]

Aug 8, 2018, 4:23 am Reply

Woowwwww…. wait, does that counts as a fetish??

Ellen Karlsson

Aug 8, 2018, 2:08 pm Reply

Omg, those reenactments!! xD

Humanoid Model #421

Aug 8, 2018, 1:43 pm Reply

I just found out you have a butterfly named in your honor, Wahydra Graslieae , that's so cool!

StarCandiii

Aug 8, 2018, 6:36 pm Reply

These segments leave me wanting to learn more, love how much info you can pack into them!

Lois Carlisle

Aug 8, 2018, 11:20 am Reply

This series is so great!

alex hunter

Aug 8, 2018, 6:27 am Reply

Disappointed you didn’t try the vegemite

Jillian Andrews

Aug 8, 2018, 11:33 pm Reply

Ugh. These are too short. I hate them.

Adam K. Made Me Watch This!

Aug 8, 2018, 4:48 am Reply

Thebrainscoop Did anyone notice the use of Bundeburg Bottles (Australian Ginger Beer) Nice touch!! Read about you on cbs news, congrats on the mainstream exposure! Subscribed and can’t wait to watch someone smart for a change

Big Lumpy Beetle

Oct 10, 2018, 3:18 am Reply

hey there sexy beetles

What

Oct 10, 2018, 1:42 am Reply

YOU WERE IN AUSTRALIA?!?! WHICH CITY?!?!

Felix

Oct 10, 2018, 1:03 pm Reply

Imagine trying to seduce an appartment building-sized parner

Rajesh

Jan 1, 2019, 6:14 pm Reply

You got fat

Shannon Walls

Jan 1, 2019, 6:42 pm Reply

This is an awesome format for videos; also this is just a fantastic video. Nothing is as weird and wild as science, OMG.

Ali Mert İnal

Mar 3, 2019, 3:59 am Reply

Supernormal stimulus
– falih köksal

Artificial Leech

May 5, 2019, 12:02 am Reply

Note to self: don't get a spray on tan before going to Australia.

Cinphoria

May 5, 2019, 4:37 am Reply

Beetles, you are literal disaster trash children. Smh.

Pouty MacPotatohead

Sep 9, 2019, 5:05 am Reply

Maybe God created them to go extinct. Just saying…

Nate Taiapa

Jan 1, 2020, 9:10 am Reply

Watch out carrots!

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