Friday, October 2, 2015

A new jewel beetle: Anthaxia kamieserrima

Members of the beetle family Buprestidae  are known as jewel beetles or metallic wood-boring beetles because of their glossy iridescent colors. The family is very large and contains about 15 000 species.

Larger and very colourful specimens are actually highly prized among insect collectors and their wings were used in the ancient Asian craft technique beetlewing. Other species are notorious pests such as the Emerald Ash Borer that is currently sweeping through North America and killing all ash trees by feeding (as larvae) on them. 

Today's new species, Anthaxia kamieserrima, is certainly much more harmless. It is endemic to South Africa and was named after the type locality (Kamieskroon) and part of the species name of a closely related species with the name: Anthaxia aterrima (-errima).

For the experts: Anthaxia (Anthaxia) kamieserrima sp. nov., a new endemic species from Republic of South Africa is described. New synonymy of Anthaxia (Anthaxia) aterrima Kerremams, 1903 (= Anthaxia (Anthaxia) braunsi Obenberger, 1922 syn. nov.) is proposed. Lectotypes and paralectotypes of A. aterrima and A. braunsi are designated.

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