Skip to Content

Fog-harvesting Namibian beetles

Coast of Namibia. Latitude 18˚ 58’S to 16˚ 56’S

There are a number of different fog-harvesting beetles such as Stenocara gracilipes in the dry, yet fog-rich, coastal area of Namibia. All the beetles climb to the top of coastal sand dunes, where some of these beetles harvest fog off their backs, while others build or dig fog-harvesting sand ridges or trenches on the dunes.2

Fog-harvesting beetle in Namibia. Photo credit: James Anderson (Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0)

We can mimic such adaptive behavior, either by planting or supporting fog-harvesting vegetation, adapting materials used in constructed fog-harvesting screens, or learning from the behaviors of fog-harvesting beetles and other life forms, including those that we have not yet discovered. The living natural world has more to teach us than we could ever imagine.


1. “Water Vapor Harvesting: Namib Desert Beetle,”, accessed 7-21-2014.

2. “Fog-Basking Behaviour and Water Collection Efficiency in Namib Desert Darkling Beetles,” Thomas Nørgaard and Marie Dacke, Frontiers in Zoology 2010, 7:23,, accessed 7-21-2014.

For more

on integrated water harvesting see the following award-winning books available at deep discount direct from the author

Fog HarvestingPassive Systems