Image for Bootleg beetles

Bootleg beetles

Duration: 01:27

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.

Available since: Tue 9 Feb 2010


David Attenborough
David Attenborough

This clip is from

Life in Cold Blood Dragons of the Dry

3/5 David Attenborough takes a look at lizards and chameleons from around the world.

First broadcast: 18 Feb 2008

Image for Dragons of the Dry Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

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