The Giraffe-necked Weevil Trachelophorus giraffa is probably one of the most charismatic beetle species endemic to Madagascar. Its eponymous extended neck is 2-3 times as long in males as in females. The extended neck is an adaptation that assists in male fighting. Females use their smaller neck for nest-building.
Females roll and secure a leaf of the host plant Dichaetanthera spp., a small tree in the family Melastomataceae. Then they lay a single egg within the tube and snip the roll from the remaining leaf in preparation of the egg hatching.
This behaviour has been for the first time documented on film at Mitsinjo’s Analamazaotra forest. It was shown in the BBC’s series on Madagascar in the episode “Island of Marvels” in 2011.
Mitsinjo is also proud to have a beetle species named after it, Pseudosynarmostes mitsinjo. It belongs to the Ceratocanthinae, a group of small oddly shaped beetles, characterized by the ability to roll their body up in order to form a compact ball for defensive purposes. Madagascar represents a hot spot of diversity for the Ceratocanthinae.
They feed on fungi and usually live in leaf litter and rotten wood. Interestingly, some species live in close association with termites. Pseudosynarmostes mitsinjo was found in 2006 in a nest of Nasutitermes sp.
Ballerio, A. (2008). Descriptions of two new endemic genera and four new species of Ceratocanthinae (Insecta, Coleoptera, Scarabaeoidea, Hybosoridae) from Madagascar. Zoosystema 30 (3): 605-628.