Where rainfall is only about 14mm / year, this bug has evolved to possess an impressive survival skill.
Stenocara gracilipes is a unique, growing beetle in the world's most arid desert - Namib.
Namib is a coastal desert in the South of the Black Continent. In the local Khoekhoegowab language, it means "vast land".
Namib is a coastal desert in the South of the Black Continent.
True to its name, Namib stretches for more than 2000km, along the western coast of the Atlantic Ocean, pulling from Angola, Namibia through South Africa. Its total area falls to about 81,000 km 2 .
The most frightening thing in Namib is extremely high heat and extremely low rainfall. In the regions with the least rainfall, rainfall is only 2mm / year. On average, the rainfall in Namib only falls within 14mm / year.
In terms of temperature, it is truly an extreme challenge. During the day, the heat may exceed 45 ° C, while at night it drops very low, sometimes to a negative level.
As if to compensate for the low rainfall to "have as well as not", Namib nature gave the wild world dense fog. They are "children" born of a combination of cold Benguela sea currents and Hadley warm air circulation .
Mist often appears in Namib, bringing life to all things.
There are about 180 days / year in Namib, a thick fog. They cover most of the desert area, but the farther away from the coast is, the more diluted.
With the Namib wildlife, from crustaceans, ancient arthropods such as living fossils to elephants, zebras, lions . this impressive amount of fog is the source of life. Thanks to them, trees survived and became the basis for diversity.
Thanks to the sea, everything became easier in Namib.
And even though the insides of the insanely hot and cold mainland, Namib's fringe climate is quite ideal, ranging from 9-20 o C.
Living in the Namib Desert also means facing the harshest growing conditions on the planet. The fog, though, leaps and bounds, but there's no way to get into the pool.
With coastal vegetation, it is easy to catch mist. The tree just stretches out the leaves as the fog attaches itself, gathering into drops. But the deeper into the mainland, the rarer plants are, the more sand dunes are.
Stenocara gracilipes beetles.
Gracilipe Stenocara beetle mainly lives in hot, dry areas, away from the tree-lined coastline and grass. Every morning, when the fog began to pour in, they climbed to the top of the dunes again, getting ready for the "trap" of the fog.
Usually the wings of the beetle are quite smooth, but the wings of Stenocara gracilipes are very grainy. After crawling to the top of the dunes, they lowered their heads, high in the tail, creating a 45 degree angle to the ground.
The wind carrying the fog swept across all things, not forgetting to blow the Stenocara gracilipes, "throwing their butt in the sky". Having encountered an obstacle, tiny particles of mist are trapped.
The rough surface of the Stenocara gracilipes is the key to catching the fog. They both prevented the wind from sweeping the dews that just clung to them, and facilitated other mist particles to continue "trapping".
In order to collect a drop of water, the Stenocara gracilipes must also be "buttocks" for hours.
Gradually, tiny frosts began to accumulate, eventually large enough to form a drop of water. The grooves on the wings of the Stenocara gracilipes are bowing down to bring the water down, to the mouth of dryness.
Of course, to collect a drop of about 5 mm in diameter, Stenocara gracilipes will have to "butt" for hours. But just like "Patience is the mother of success" , their hardship finally pays off.
With very high water droplets, Stenocara gracilipes satisfies the thirsty, refreshing start of a new day, vigorously resisting the terrifying heat.