Coniatus Splendidulus Coniatus splendidulus, the splendid tamarisk weevil, is a beetle which eats tamarisk trees, plants native to Eurasia and North Africa. Tamarisk trees occupy much of the deserts in California and the Southwest, posing a threat for fires due to their dryness despite taking a good deal of groundwater. If you pass by tamarisk foliage in the American Southwest, try and look for them to see how shiny the glittery splendid tamarisk weevil they are!
ZOOMING IN As part of my research, I looked for Coniatus Splendidulus and other arthropods in leaf samples under a dissecting microscope, which is how I took the picture I later painted. Data collected from examining the weevils can help our lab to predict how approaches to biocontrol methods might impact tamarisk trees.