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Buprestidae

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Buprestidae is a family of beetles known as jewel beetles or metallic wood-boring beetles because of their glossy iridescent colors. Larvae of this family are known as flatheaded borers. The family is among the largest of the beetles, with some 15,500 species known in 775 genera. In addition, almost 100 fossil species have been described.[1]

The larger and more spectacularly colored jewel beetles are highly prized by insect collectors. The elytra of some Buprestidae species have been traditionally used in beetlewing jewellery and decoration in certain countries in Asia, like India, Thailand and Japan.

Description and ecology

Shape is generally cylindrical or elongate to ovoid, with lengths ranging from 3 to 80 mm (0.12 to 3.15 in), although most species are under 20 mm (0.79 in). Catoxantha, Chrysaspis, Euchroma and Megaloxantha contain the largest species. 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 is caused by structural coloration, 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, such as the invasive emerald ash borer. Some species are attracted to recently burned forests to lay their eggs. They can sense pine wood smoke from up to 50 miles away, and can see infrared light, helping them to zero in as they get closer to a forest fire.[2]

Ten species of flatheaded borers of the family Buprestidae feed on spruce and fir, but hemlock is their preferred food source (Rose and Lindquist 1985).[3] As with roundheaded borers, most feeding occurs in dying or dead trees, or close to injuries on living trees. Damage becomes abundant only where a continuing supply of breeding material is available. The life history of these borers is similar to that of the roundheaded borers, but some exceedingly long life cycles have been reported under adverse conditions. Full-grown larvae, up to 25 mm long, are characteristically flattened, the anterior part of the body being much broader than the rest. The bronzed adults are usually seen only where suitable material occurs in sunny locations.

Systematics

Jewel beetle classification is not yet robustly established, although there appear to be five or six main lineages, which may be considered subfamilies, possibly with one or two being raised to families in their own right. Some other systems define up to 14 subfamilies.

The commonly accepted subfamilies, with some representative genera, are:

"
Temognatha alternata, a Buprestinae 2.6cm long from Cooktown, Australia
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

Agrilinae – cosmopolitan, with most taxa occurring in the Northern Hemisphere

Buprestinae – cosmopolitan

Chrysochroinae

Galbellinae

Julodinae

Polycestinae

References

  1. ^ "The first fossil buprestids from the Middle Jurassic Jiulongshan Formation of China (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)" (PDF). Zootaxa. 2745: 53–62. 2011.
  2. ^ H. Schmitz, H. Bleckmann (1998). "The photomechanic infrared receptor for the detection of forest fires in the beetle Melanophila acuminata (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)". J Comp Physiol A. 182: 647–657.
  3. ^ Rose, A.H.; Lindquist, O.H. 1985. Insects of eastern spruces, fir and, hemlock, revised edition. Gov’t Can., Can. For. Serv., Ottawa, For. Tech. Rep. 23. 159 p. (cited in Coates et al. 1994, cited orig ed 1977)
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Buprestidae: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

Buprestidae is a family of beetles known as jewel beetles or metallic wood-boring beetles because of their glossy iridescent colors. Larvae of this family are known as flatheaded borers. The family is among the largest of the beetles, with some 15,500 species known in 775 genera. In addition, almost 100 fossil species have been described.

The larger and more spectacularly colored jewel beetles are highly prized by insect collectors. The elytra of some Buprestidae species have been traditionally used in beetlewing jewellery and decoration in certain countries in Asia, like India, Thailand and Japan.

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Description

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Rather large (5.7–7.0 mm), flat, Lycid-like, matt; antennae and legs robust; dorsal surface asetose, frons and ventral surface with sparse but rather long, white pubescence, prosternum with lanuginose pubescence. Head wider than anterior pronotal margin, eyes large, elliptical, projecting beyond outline of head; clypeus short, wide, anterior margin straight; frons flat with small, rounded cells with tiny central grains (central portion of frons with rather sparse cells), vertex flat, 1.6 times as wide as width of eye, with fine, transverse rugae; antennae reaching posterior fourth of lateral, pronotal margins when laid alongside; pedicel triangular, antennomeres 3–10 widely triangular to trapezoidal, much wider than long. Pronotum tapering anteriorly, 2.2 times as wide as long, with fine, medial, longitudinal depression and large, deep lateroposterior depressions reaching anterior fourth of pronotum; “agriloid” carina well defined, long, reaching beyond midlength of lateral margins; prescutellar pit missing; pronotal sculpture consisting of very fine, rather indistinct and transversely widened, polygonal cells without central grains. Scutellum very small, triangular, 1.5 times as long as wide. Elytra flat, 1.8–1.9 times as long as wide, narrowly, separately rounded apically; humeral swellings small, not projecting beyond outline of elytra, basal, transverse depression missing; elytral epipleura wide, enlarged posteriorly, reaching elytral suture; subhumeral carina missing; elytral sculpture consisting of fine microsculpture and tiny, sparse, lustrous grains. Ventral surface lustrous, abdominal ventrites with fine horse-shoe-shaped punctures; prosternum weakly convex, densely, transversely rugate, prosternal process enlarged beyond procoxae; anal ventrite truncate, sharply serrate, anal tergite spatulate, unarmed. Legs robust, protibiae slightly curved with inner, preapical, brush-like row of dense, pale bristles (denser in males – like in Fig. 33); both meso- and metatibiae finely, obtusely serrate on inner margin; tarsal claws thin, hook-shaped. Aedeagus (Fig. 2 in Bílý 1996) subparallel, strongly sclerotised, parameres sharply pointed apically; median lobe apically obtusely pointed.
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Bílý S (2013) A study on the Neotropical Anthaxiini (Coleoptera, Buprestidae, Buprestinae) ZooKeys 304: 17–47
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Distribution

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Argentina, Brasil.
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Bílý S (2013) A study on the Neotropical Anthaxiini (Coleoptera, Buprestidae, Buprestinae) ZooKeys 304: 17–47
author
Svatopluk Bílý
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