For our 50th issue, we take a look at nature’s golden creatures
The golden eyelash viper just wants to blend in
The eyelash viper (so-called because of the scales over its eyes) can be seen slithering through Central and South America and comes in a variety of colours from pink to green. The golden form is common and can help the venomous snakes to hide among bananas.
The golden tortoise beetle has an American doppelgänger
Not to be confused with the similar-looking North American beetle with the same common name, Aspidimorpha sanctaecrucis lives in Southeast Asia. These beetles are about a centimetre long (0.4 inches) and range in colour from a brilliant gold to metallic red, with a transparent outer shell.
Golden-headed lion tamarins are more rare than roar
This Endangered New World monkey species is named for its distinctive gold mane, which can be fluffed up when it feels threatened. The tamarins live in trees in groups of three or four in a small area of southern Bahia, a state in northeast Brazil, foraging for fruit, flowers and insects among the canopy.
There’s science behind the golden beetle’s sparkle
Chrysina resplendens is a scarab beetle found in Central America. Precise spacing between layers of the exoskeleton means light is reflected in such a way that it produces a dazzling gold effect, which may be used to deter predators or attract mates.