Bootleg beetles

In the South African desert, David Attenborough compares an adult bushveld lizard to a baby one. The adult is brown while the young is black with yellow spots and has a very different way of walking, with its back very arched. All in all, it looks quite like one of the local beetles which David picks up once he has donned protective glasses. The black and yellow beetle is called an oogpister or 'eye spitter' because it sprays formic acid at its enemies' eyes. The lizards benefit from imitating the beetle because birds that prey on lizards assume that it has a nasty spray and leave it alone.

Release date: 09 Feb 2010

2 minutes


Role Contributor
PresenterDavid Attenborough
PresenterDavid Attenborough

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