Looking as if it were dipped in liquid gold, a jewel scarab (Chrysina argenteola) almost seems more mineral than insect. Renowned for their remarkable colorations, Chrysina beetles fetch high prices among collectors, with some species and color variations fetching hundreds of dollars. Recent research into the metallic nature of their exoskeletons reveals that it possesses unique properties in the way it reflects polarized light, essentially being 'optically ambidextrous'. The reason why they have such unusual colorations still remains a mystery, although it has been suggested that the highly reflective surface may serve to camouflage them under the right lighting conditions, or even perhaps dazzle predators. Canandé Reserve, Ecuador.