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Stalk-Eyed Glowbug on a Lilypad

Updated on February 7, 2011
Stalk-Eyed Glowbug on a Lilypad, by rlz
Stalk-Eyed Glowbug on a Lilypad, by rlz

It is no wonder that this Stalk-Eyed Glowbug on a lilypad is looking just a little bit askance at that patch of darkness amid all the damp tropical leaves to the right (Glowbug’s left).

For the SEG (as it is indexed by the sentient entomologist), native of the northern stretches of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, often falls victim to the marauding youth of Pematang Siantar, the nearest large city. Those shantytown street urchins collect SEGs to fit with tiny shades of recycled rag cotton, for eventual sale to tourists as ‘authentic native’ bedside lamps.

In addition to its stalk-eyes — with their ability to scan 360-degrees along several axes — the SEG is also equipped with another finely-honed defense mechanism: a clutch of legs serrated with noise-producing combs and powerfully explosive musculature (don’t let their skinniness fool you!). When danger nears, those legs jettison the SEG several feet into the air, allowing its wings to take over, while the leg combs produce a sound not unlike human flatulence.

Predators are so often occupied by looking around for ‘who dealt it’, and thus distracted, that the SEG can easily effectuate his escape.


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