Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Jewel Beetles to charm you!

When I was a kid, a pair of pet insects was presented to me by my elders to be brought up! They had dark green and shiny – iridescent wings reflecting light like Compact Discs. The female had creamy white triangular tail end that bore egg that waited there to be laid. They didn’t try to fly away but rather moved slowly inside the pet box here and there, silently. These are the Jewel Beetles (Chrysochora species, ‘Ponvandu ’ in Tamil). My elders had told me that if I fed them with the leaves of Acacia tree, they would lay eggs, which hatch then into tiny insects. As they told the insects laid creamy, rubbery cute eggs! While I was waiting then to see the hatchlings, one day morning I found all the eggs to bear a hole on them with nothing inside; ants had found them to be delicious!

In the Nature these Jewel beetles are found here in South India in the monsoon month, October. At this time the Acacia trees are abound with them. They are wood borers. Another special kind of this beetle that is larger, and that has round and golden iridescent spots on the wings, lives on white Acacia trees. We call it as ‘Raja Ponvandu ’ – meaning ‘the king among the Jewel beetles’!

1 comment:

Ranjith Thiru said...

Being a Son to this Blogger, I and My brother too had the experience of Taming these Cute Jewel Beetles !

We too Got 3 Fluorescent Green Eggs from the female Beetle !

But All those Eggs Gone Rotten ('Koomuttai' in Tamil) !

At that Age We were not much idea about Incubation Period !

The Wrong that we did is , We separated the Female Beetle with its 3 Eggs !

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