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what is it

Jewel Beetle

what is it
Location: Forbes NSW Australia
January 13, 2011 5:46 am
found this bug and every one i know even people who have lived in this area all there lives have never seen one before
help me bugman
Signature: Gavin Montgomery

Jewel Beetle

Dear Gavin,
This beautiful beetle is a Metallic Borer Beetle in the family Buprestidae, and its members, because of the gorgeous coloration many of them possess, are known as Jewel Beetles.  We became obsessed with fining you a species identification, and we must have individually clicked through hundreds of images on the Insect Reference Collection Database (ICDB) of an Australian Government Agriculture website dedicated to beetles before we found an image of
Themognatha westwoodi which appears to be an exact match for your beetle.  Alas, a great source for identifying Australian Beetles, Allen Sundholm’s Buprestidae Home Page, now comes up with the message:  “Forbidden You don’t have permission to access.”  Allen Sundholm was quite liberal with his identification assistance in the past, but we no longer know how to contact him.  More information on Australian Jewel Beetle can still be found on the Brisbane Insect Website.

Jewel Beetle

fantastic thank you very much for identifying this beautiful bug
can you tell me any thing about it?
is it common to my part of australia ect
thank you

Hi again Gavin,
We struggled to identify this beetle, and once we found a match, we were not able to find any additional information on the actual species online.  You may try searching some of the commercial companies that sell specimens.  Rarer specimens would theoretically cost more to collectors. In  more general sense, the larvae of Jewel Beetles in the family Buprestidae are called Flathead Borers and some species remain in the larval stage for several years.  Some species are limited to a single host plant species.  It is also not at all unusual that some species from remote locations are documented only from the adult stage known as the imago, and that there is no documentation of the life cycle.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Australia

3 Responses to Jewel Beetle from Australia: Themognatha westwoodi we believe

  1. Allen says:

    Hi all,

    Sorry about my web pages no longer being available. I took them down was some of the info was no longer applicable and I meant to replace them, but never got around to it. However, I still hope to replace them some day, but not likely until after I retire in a few years time (it is June 2011 as I write this). Too much else on my plate in the meantime! Also, I have only just come across this site again after some time since I last visited it, and I was humbled by the kind words said about my old site. I still have copies of all my web pages saved on my hard drives.

    Anyway, the pictured beetle is Temognatha vitticollis and the Forbes locality for the specimen, I asume, is an excellent locality record. The species is knwon to occur in surviving bushland areas in inland NSW and inland southern QLD. It is a species I would like to get ahold a few more specimens of if anyone has any to spare, dead or alive. Live specimens are more useful for DNA studies, but dead specimens, if properly dried, are also very useful. Specimens of any other Buprestidae specimens that anyone may come across would also be useful. The more localities, the better. I also have interests in other beetle families, such as Cerambycidae, Cetonidae and Carabidae, and may be able to help with ID’s.

    Though similar in appearance (as is also Temognatha fallasciosa, for example), Temognatha westwoodi is narrower in width, has different aedegaus (genitalia), is a deeper reddish colour in life, and only occurs in southern Western Australia.

    My research on the spatial and temporal distributions, regional diversity, adult host plants, adult emergence triggers, etc, mainly of Australian Buprestidae, has been ongoing since circa 1980 and is an ongoing lifelong project. I hope to begin publishing papers after I retire.

    Incidentally I took my wife and my sister-in-law to Forbes a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised at how nice a town it is. We stayed in a cabin at a caravan park near the river, the one with all the trees.

    Cheers to all,

    Allen Sundholm

    • bugman says:

      Dear Allen,
      Thanks for providing a correct species identification. It is sad when dependable internet resources vanish from the public airways.

  2. Gill Earl says:

    Hi there, thanks for having this wonderful site with great insect photos. I’ve found my jewel beetle here, the same as in the photo. From reading comment by Allen Sundholm I believe it is Temognatha vitticolis. I found it in my local parkland in Corryswood, Thurgoona (near Albury, NSW), in white box woodland.
    I have a fresh specimen if it is wanted for a collection, but would need advice on how to preserve the specimen.

    Kind regards

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