The jewel beetle's visit was short. It flew away after only a few moments. The tree was silent, the flowers shrivelled changelings of their former selves, so I visited the tree's sheddings underneath its branches, and found
And the next day, I visited again
"Estimates of the number of species of Coleoptera (beetles) so far described in the world vary between 277,000 and 350,000. It is a notable fact that, whereas 70 percent of the known species of animals are insects, no less than 40 percent of the species of insects and about one-third of all animals species are beetles. The number of species of Coleoptera known to occur in Australia is greater than 19,000. This total will, however, be considerably exceeded when the fauna is thoroughly studied."So, getting to that obsessional what? First, the easy part. They are members of the family Buprestidae, otherwise known as jewel beetles. ("world species 12,000: Australian species 850" - Trevor Hawkeswood).
- E.B. Britton, "Coleoptera", The Insects of Australia: A Textbook for Students and Research Workers, Division of Entomology, Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation, Australia, Melbourne University Press, 1970
I think these are from the principle genus Stigmodera, and I'll punt further to say that - oh, no I won't, even though s. variabilis is tempting. What I will say is that Trevor Hawkeswood wrote, in his Beetles of Australia (Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1987) :
"The nectar-feeding buprestids often become intoxicated through indulgence". I'm sorry I missed their high time in the flowers high above the ground, but none of the characters I met earthwards, walked a straight line.
Not a bad way to live a three-week life as an adult.
Not a bad way for a human to be discombobulated, either, instead of sitting in front of a screen screaming at 'bugs' in the quite inaccurately named "new and enhanced" Blogger.
Real bugs are beautiful.