Science and Technology

The Point: Designing the Snout Weevil


John Stonestreet

That’s a great-looking snout weevil.

The structure of the thorax and wings of the Philippine snout weevil produces such high-fidelity color that no designer can match it.

No designer on earth, that is.

So writes Julie Borg at WORLD magazine. As Borg notes, “the snout weevil sports circular scales arranged in concentric circles of colors ranging from blue in the center to red on the outside—the same order as the colors of the rainbow.”

Design engineers are fascinated because, she continues, “unlike human-made color images, the insect’s rainbow circles provide a high color fidelity regardless of the angle from which one views them.” This is the result of the 3-D crystal structures in the bug’s exoskeleton.

Engineers just can’t replicate it, which is a pity, because the commercial applications for things like computer displays and TV screens would be spectacular.

To paraphrase the psalmist, the heavens declare the glory of God. And the wings of the snout weevil declare His handiwork.


Image: YouTube


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