(Buprestidae), a family of beetles. Length, 3–100 mm. Jewel beetles often have a bright metallic color (hence the name).
The beetles fly in the hot summer months and are found on the trunks of trees and on logs, while small species are more common on flowers and leaves. The larvae are white, apodal, and develop under the bark and in the wood of trees and bushes. In the steppe zone small jewel beetles develop in grassy plants, and some mine leaves. In the steppe and deserts a number of species (in the soil) feed on plant roots.
Jewel beetles are the third most harmful beetle forest pest (after bark beetles and longhorn beetles), and they are often the most harmful orchard pests. The species that live in wood create winding passages densely filled with brown “flour”; most passages end in pupa chambers. Jewel beetles do particular damage in hot years. They also abet the spread of wood-destroying fungi.
There are more than 10,000 species, with about 500 in the USSR, mostly in southern regions. They are widespread (about 80 percent of the species are in tropical countries). The most widespread harmful species are the four-point pine borer (Anthaxia quadripunctata)’, the large pine borer (Buprestis mariana)’, the fire borer (Melanophila acuminata); the black borer (Capnodis tenebrionis), which does heavy damage to orchards; a number of species of borers of the genus Agrilinus, which harm forest plantings; and the elm borer (Lampra decipiens).
REFERENCESVorontsov, A. l.Lesnaia entomologiia, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1967.
Rikhter, A. A. Zlatki, parts 2–4. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949–52 (fauna SSSR: Nasekomye zhestkokrylye, vol. 13, issues 2, 4).
M. E. TER-MINASIAN