Brush Jewel Beetle from South Africa

Subject: Hairy bug
Location: South Africa , west coast
August 13, 2016 8:47 am
This bug was found on the west coast of the western cape South Africa in mid winter. It doesn’t appear to have wings
Signature: Bonnie

Brush Jewel Beetle
Brush Jewel Beetle

Dear Bonnie,
This is a gorgeous Jewel Beetle in the family Buprestidae, and we quickly identified it on iSpot as the Brush Jewel Beetle,
Julodis hirsuta subsp. hirsuta.  Your description of a “hairy bug” is so amusing in that entomologists who determined the scientific name decided that one reference to it being hirsute was not sufficient.  We would not entirely rule out that this might be Julodis cirrosa, also pictured on iSpot, based on this comment on iSpot from BeetleDude:  “Only two (sub)species of Julodis co-occur in the Klein Karoo, namely Julodis cirrosa cirrosa and Julodis hirsuta hirsuta. Their other subspecies are more easily identifiable, but it is really not easy to discriminate between J. c. cirrosa and J. h. hirsuta. But this set of photographs is just great! With specimens in hand, the identification would be clinched by studying sculptural patterns on the cuticle, details of the legs and the internal male genitalia, but these are just not ever visible enough on pictures not taken under a microscope and by a specialist.  Nonetheless, these pictures show lots and lots of character states one needs to take into account. I’ll skip the detail. Here are three important reasons for my identification of this beast as Julodis hirsuta hirsuta.
1. Setal brushes on dorsum confused, not in longitudinal rows, with small setal patches among the larger ones, and the setal brushes covering at least one quarter of elytral surface (different in J. c. cirrosa).
2. Majority of setal brushes on head longer than half the width of the eye (different in J. c. cirrosa).
3. Apex of underside of last visible abdominal segment truncate in the male {which this is} (different in J. c. cirrosa).”  A Brush Jewel Beetle is also pictured on BioDiversity Explorer

Brush Jewel Beetle
Brush Jewel Beetle

Thank you so much for your quick response. It was a very exciting discovery for us.


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