Saturday, April 14, 2012

Talented actor. Specialty: the corpse.

When I cleaned out the bird feeder yesterday, I found a big weevil nibbling on a left-over sunflower seed. I brought him inside, and he did what weevils always do; played dead. But I dropped a smushed seed into his bottle, and after a while he resurrected himself and went to work on it.

Later on, I brought him out and gave him a new seed to keep him entertained while I took his photo. He wasn't having any of it; he was dead, dead, dead. For a minute, I felt guilty, as if he had been too stressed out in the pill bottle, and had given up the ghost. But no; I've been fooled by his relatives before.

I watched him with a lens for about 5 minutes, before I detected a slight tremor in one antenna. Faker!

Lying on his back, not moving. The sunflower seed is about 8mm. long; he's a bit shorter.

I flipped him over, and he never moved a hair. Notice how one foot landed upside-down.

And here he is, four minutes later. I've been turning him around for side shots and head shots. The foot is still in that awkward position. He really wants me to think he's dead.

Spiders catch and eat weevils fairly often. But they totally ignore dead creatures, so this strategy has probably saved many weevil lives.

After I'd taken my photos, I put him outside with his sunflower seed and went to check my seed trays. I came back a couple of minutes later, and Mr. Dead Weevil had revived and gone home.

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Upupaepops said...

what a great story! I never knew

He felt the whiff of fresh air across his antennae and was revived


biobabbler said...

wow. very impressive. I suppose a sore wrist is better than dead. =) Nicely done.

Susannah Anderson said...


Powell River Books said...

Bugs have to be really careful when you are around. They think they are safe and cozy, then they are Internet stars. - Margy