Colourful red and white beetles that group together mimic the flowers of the beech burner to attract the spitfire bird. It takes four spitfire beetles with their wings spread to create the illusion of a flower. When the bird comes close enough, the beetles explode outwards, using their powerful back legs.
The carnivorous spitfire beetles spend most of their live in groups of 4. They position themselves on the trunk of a spitfire tree, standing head to head in a cross formation.
With their wings spread, they are suddenly indistinguishable from the flowers of the tree itself.
The formation of 4 beetles wait, mimicking the flowers waiting, for their intended prey, the spitfire bird. As it moves in, the beetles leap into action, seizing the bird before it can bring its defences into play.
The dead spitfire bird is then eaten by all 4 spitfire beetles.
Spitfire Beetle eat only Spitfire Birds
Roachcutters have been known to eat Spitfire Beetles