National Geographic : 2001 Feb
When the metallic scarabs come into the light, it's as if the stars are falling from the sky-and local people some times sit and watch the show. In a scientific Morse code, we mark the beetles' wing covers with tiny pin holes to indicate date and location of capture. "Some nights we see repeats, but CHRYSINASPECTABILIS 1.5 IN often we get a whole new cohort of insects," says Dave. "It's truly remarkable." The next day, a marked C. spectabilislightens its load in the hand that frees it (left)-a movement observed before almost every takeoff. As we continue to study the behavior and range of these winged jewels, we will look for ways they can be har vested from the wild and farmed to help support for est conservation. But on tropical nights, scarabs in flight take on a value for us that goes well beyond what any market will bear. 0 See more photographs of jewel scarabs and find related websites and other resources inMore to Explore at national geographic.com/ngm/0102. &>..