The jewels of the bush
Jewel beetles are certainly a sight to behold. However, most of them are only about 10 – 15 millimetres in length, so it takes determination and a keen eye to find them.
We have seen ten species of jewel beetle in the reserves, seven of which are pictured here. The pictured beetles are all from the genus Castiarina with the different species each living on their favoured plants.
Some live their lives on Astartea scoparia, others on Pericalymma elipticum, Conospermum triplinervium or Nuytsia floribunda. The adult beetles can be seen eating the petals and nectar when their respective plant hosts are in flower. The larvae are grubs and spend that stage of their lives underground feeding on the roots or inside the stems of the host plant.
Jewel beetles were once collected and used in jewellery. Thankfully, jewel beetles are now protected species and cannot be taken from the wild.