Julodis ehrenbergii (Ehrenbergi's Jewel Beetle / Ehrenbergi Mücevher Böceği)

Julodis ehrenbergii (Ehrenbergi's Jewel Beetle / Ehrenbergi Mücevher Böceği)

Julodis ehrenbergii (Ehrenbergi's Jewel Beetle / Ehrenbergi Mücevher Böceği) from Ceyhan, Adana - 24.05.2009.

Buprestidaeis a family of beetles, known as jewel beetles or metallic wood-boring beetles because of their glossy iridescent colors. The family is among the largest of the beetles, with some 15,000 species known in 450 genera.

Shape is generally cylindrical or elongate to ovoid, with lengths ranging from 3 mm to an impressive 100 mm, although most species are under 20 mm. A variety of bright colors are known, often in complicated patterns. The iridescence common to these beetles is not due to pigments in the exoskeleton, but instead physical iridescence in which microscopic texture in their cuticle selectively reflects specific frequencies of light in particular directions. This is the same effect that makes a compact disc reflect multiple colors.

The larvae bore through roots, logs, stems, and leaves of various types of plants, ranging from trees to grasses. The wood boring types generally favor dying or dead branches on otherwise-healthy trees, while a few types attack green wood; some of these are serious pests capable of killing trees and causing major economic damage.

Here you can see an Jewel Beetle belonging to the genus Julodis. In this genus it's possible to identified two main groups. The first one is typical of the southern part of Africa. The other group lives in Northern Africa (around Sahara, reaching The Red Sea and Aldabra Is.), in the Mediterranean Subregion, Middle Orient, in some steppic lands of Central Asia, reaching Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India. Recently discovered also in China. In the distribution of this last group it can locate two main centres of diversification: one in NW Africa (Maghreb: Maroc, Algeria and Tunisia) an another in Middle Orient. Very few species live in Southern Europe and in some Mediterranean isles . This scarce presence in Europe is probably caused by last glacial periods. Several species of Palearctic Julodis show a very high variability, with many geografical forms. West Mediterranean Julodis are particularly represented by two extremely variable species: Julodis onopordi and Julodis aequinoctialis, with other related species. In the East Mediterranean region and Middle Orient, there is a big number of species. Many of them were considered subspecies or simply varieties of Julodis onopordi, but they are considered good species, now (Julodis andreae, etc.). Other big complexes are those of Julodis euphratica and Julodis variolaris. There are an incredible number of synonims and different classifications, especially for two extremely variable species.

References: 1. Atatür, M., Budak, A. & Göçmen, B (2003). Invertebrate Biology. Ege Üniversitesi Fen Fakültesi Kitaplar Serisi, No. 187, Ege Üniversitesi Basimevi, Bornova-Izmir, 503 pp. 2. Wikipedia . 3. Jewel Beetles . 4. Chinery, M. (1986). Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe, Collins, Glasgow, 320 pp.