Finding Something New

When Cabras thinks she’s found something new, she stops. She also signals to her teammates to stop. She doesn’t want to scare off a beetle. Then she takes pictures of the scene. “I usually take photos of their food plant and habitat,” she says. This gives scientists like conservationists more information about the new beetle.

The beetles are hard to find on the ground.

Here are some of Cabras' teammates.

For example, many jewel weevils eat only certain plants. To protect these beetles, you also need to protect the plants they eat.

If she can, Cabras takes some beetles back to her lab. That way, other researchers can study them, too, and make new discoveries.

This beetle became important to Cabras’ research. She found a new species that looks like it.

Cabras uses a microscope to look at a beetle.

Weevil Wonders 

Cabras thinks jewel weevils sparkle like gems. Their wings are brightly colored. They are orange or blue or red or even gold. These colors are a warning to predators. They mean: Don’t eat me! I taste bad. Predators know to stay away.

These colors would mean a lot to her research. But, Cabras didn’t know it at first.

This beetle has the colors of a jewel weevil.