Giant metallic ceiba borer beetles


Giant metallic ceiba borer beetles

Euchroma gigantea

Brazil

1881.40.iiiw, 1921.22.bq

This is the largest type of jewel beetle in the Americas. Its scientific name translates as colourful giant. Adults can reach up to 8cm and the grubs up to 15cm.

Where and how they live: Widespread across Central and South America, particularly in the Amazon Basin. You are likely to spot the adults walking or flying around the trunks of the trees.

What they eat: The adults most likely eat leaves and pollen. They lay their eggs on decomposing kapok, ceiba, balsa, parana pine or fig trees and the grubs feed inside the decomposing trunks for a couple of years. They have special bacteria in their guts to help them digest wood.

Are they endangered?: The Shuar groups are the only Amazonian peoples that use beetle wing cases or ‘elytra’ like these to make decorative items. The grubs are also collected as food. This species is considered a pest of trees so it isn’t thought to be under threat currently.

More images of giant metallic ceiba borer beetles: