Among the different species of flower beetles, there is one of particular notoriety: the Goliath beetle. This large insect can grow up to 11 cm long and is well-known for its distinctive black and white shield. In this paper, we focus on a
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Among the different species of flower beetles, there is one of particular notoriety: the Goliath beetle. This large insect can grow up to 11 cm long and is well-known for its distinctive black and white shield. In this paper, we focus on a particular Goliathus
species: G. orientalis
(Moser, 1909). We investigated the variations in properties of both the black and white parts of the upper face of G. orientalis
; more precisely, the variation in surface properties with respect to the wettability of these two parts. This work reveals that the white parts of the shield have a higher hydrophobic character when compared to the black regions. While the black parts are slightly hydrophobic (θ
= 91 ± 5°) and relatively smooth, the white parts are highly hydrophobic (θ
= 130 ± 3°) with strong water adhesion (parahydrophobic); similar to the behavior observed for rose petals. Roughness and morphology analyses revealed significant differences between the two parts, and, hence, may explain the change in wettability. The white surfaces are covered with horizontally aligned nanohairs. Interestingly, vertically aligned microhairs are also present on the white surface. Furthermore, the surfaces of the microhairs are not smooth, they contain nanogrooves that are qualitatively similar to those observed in cactus spines. The nanogrooves may have an extremely important function regarding water harvesting, as they preferentially direct the migration of water droplets; this process could be mimicked in the future to capture and guide a large volume of water.