Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory




Regional Maps


Jewel Beetles

Compiler and date details

31 December 2001 - C.L. Bellamy, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento, California, USA


The superfamily Buprestoidea, first defined by Crowson (1955), is most generally considered to be monotypic, containing only the family Buprestidae Leach, 1815. An alternative perspective argues for the presence of a second family, the Schizopodidae LeConte, 1859 as advocated by Nelson & Bellamy (1991). However, the work of Holynski (1993) submitted the Buprestidae to be a monotypic family comprised of four subfamilies: Schizopodinae, Julodinae, Buprestinae and Agrilinae and this arrangement was followed by Lawrence & Newton (1995). Most recently, Kolibác (2001) supported the schizopodids as sufficiently distinct to be separated at the family level.

The definition of the sister-group of Buprestoidea is, as yet, unproven. A phylogenetic analysis of several beetle superfamilies by Lawrence (1988) was inconclusive about where this lineage is rooted on the Coleoptera family tree.

However, a new tentative classification of the Elateriformia was presented in that paper which placed the Buprestidae within the Byrrhoidea. The Buprestoidea was again used by Lawrence & Newton (1995). The superfamily, its putative relationships and a very general discussion of the Australian component was given by Lawrence & Britton (1991). An earlier general work was by Froggatt (1907).

The focus of this section of the Catalogue will be on the four buprestid subfamilies: Polycestinae, Chalcophorinae, Buprestinae and Agrilinae. The Schizopodidae and Buprestidae: Julodinae lineages are not recorded from Australia. A complete summary of the higher classification is given by Bellamy (2002). In the Catalogue, however, taxa are arranged in alphabetical order because of the ease of use of a self-indexing text.

Several publications were of great assistance in compiling this Catalogue, especially when it came to gathering the information on type specimen repositories and accession numbers. In particular, the works of Lea (1912) on the collection and publications of the Rev. T. Blackburn; McKeown (1948) on the Coleoptera types in the Australian Museum, Sydney; and Britton & Stanbury (1981) on the types in the Macleay Museum.


The following individuals were instrumental in providing me with support, detail, photocopies, type information etc. S. Barker, South Australian Museum, Adelaide, SA; S. Bílý, National Museum, Prague, Czech Republic; J. Cools, Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, Bruxelles, Belgium; M. Golding, Beverley, WA; S. Gottwald, Berlin, Germany; M. Hanlon, Sydney, NSW; T. Houston, Western Australian Museum, Perth, WA; M. Kerley, The Natural History Museum, London; D. Mann, Hope Museum, Oxford, UK; G. Monteith, Queensland Museum, Brisbane, QLD; M. Moulds, Australian Museum, Sydney, NSW; R. Oberprieler, Australian National Insect Collection, Canberra, ACT; M. Peterson, Perth, WA; A. Sundholm, Sydney, NSW; K. Walker, Museum of Victoria, Abbotsford, VIC; T. Weir, Australian National Insect Collection, Canberra, ACT; and G.A. Williams, Lorien Wildlife Refuge, Taree, NSW.

Colleagues who supported this work, in various ways, are: the late G. & J. Burns; M. Hanlon; P. McMillan; M. Peterson; M. Powell; A. Sundholm; and the late S. Watkins.

For help with literature, both copies thereof and in answering questions, I must acknowledge Lorna Mitchell and Zoe Gerrard, Entomology Library, The Natural History Museum, London and Ronell Goode, Transvaal Museum Library, Pretoria.

The illustrations were prepared by André Olwage with financial assistance from the Australian Biological Resources Study.

The original contracts that supported this work were awarded to me when I was a curator of the Coleoptera Department, Transvaal Museum, Pretoria, South Africa. My appreciation is given to those that assisted me there, especially members of the library staff. Subsequent review and correction were undertaken while I was a member of the Entomology Section, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, California, with appreciation to my colleagues in the department and in the library.

Finally I would like to thank the Australian Biological Resources Study for financial assistance, and the staff for their help with this work, especially Dr Keith Houston for editorial advice.

Limital Area

Distribution data in the Directory is by political and geographic region descriptors and serves as a guide to the distribution of a taxon. For details of a taxon's distribution, the reader should consult the cited references (if any) at genus and species levels.

Australia is defined as including Lord Howe Is., Norfolk Is., Cocos (Keeling) Ils, Christmas Is., Ashmore and Cartier Ils, Macquarie Is., Australian Antarctic Territory, Heard and McDonald Ils, and the waters associated with these land areas of Australian political responsibility. Political areas include the adjacent waters.

Terrestrial geographical terms are based on the drainage systems of continental Australia, while marine terms are self explanatory except as follows: the boundary between the coastal and oceanic zones is the 200 m contour; the Arafura Sea extends from Cape York to 124 DEG E; and the boundary between the Tasman and Coral Seas is considered to be the latitude of Fraser Island, also regarded as the southern terminus of the Great Barrier Reef.

Distribution records, if any, outside of these areas are listed as extralimital. The distribution descriptors for each species are collated to genus level. Users are advised that extralimital distribution for some taxa may not be complete.


General References

Bellamy, C.L. 2002b. Coleoptera: Buprestoidea In Houston, W.W.K. (ed.) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 29.5. Melbourne : CSIRO Publishing, Australia. pp. XII 491 +4 colour pls

Bellamy, C.L. 2003a. An annotated summary of the higher classification of the superfamily Buprestoidea. Folia Heyrovskyana, Supplementum 10: 1–197

Britton, E.B. & Stanbury, P.J. 1981. Type specimens in the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney. VIII. Insects: Beetles (Insecta: Coleoptera). Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 105(4): 241-293

Crowson, R.A. 1955. The natural classification of the families of Coleoptera. London : E.W. Classey 214 pp.

Froggatt, W.W. 1907. Family 29. Jewel Beetles. Buprestidae. 162-165, pl. xviii in Froggatt, W.W. Australian Insects. Sydney : W. Brooks & Co. xiv 449 pp., 37 pls. [Date published April 11, 1907]

Holynski, R. 1993. A reassessment of the internal classification of the Buprestidae Leach (Coleoptera). Crystal, series Zoologica 1: 1-42

Kolibác, J. 2001. Classification and phylogeny of the Buprestoidea (Insecta: Coleoptera). Acta Musei Moraviae, Scientiae biologicae (Brno) 85: 113-184

Lawrence, J.F. 1988 [1987]. Rhinorhipidae, a new beetle family from Australia, with comments on the phylogeny of the Elateriformia. Invertebrate Taxonomy 2: 1-53 [Date published Oct. 14, 1988]

Lawrence, J.F. & Britton, E.B. 1991. Chapter 35. Coleoptera (Beetles). pp. 543-683 in Division of Entomology, CSIRO (ed.). The Insects of Australia. Ithaca, New York : Cornell University Press Vol. 2.

Lawrence, J.F. & Newton, A.F., Jr 1995. Families and subfamilies of Coleoptera (with selected genera, notes, references and data on family-group names). pp. 779-1006 in Pakaluk, J. & Ślipiński, S.A. (eds). Biology, Phylogeny and Classification of Coleoptera: Papers celebrating the 80th birthday of Roy A. Crowson. Warszawa : Muzeum i Instytut Zoologii PAN.

Lea, A.M. 1912. The late Rev. Canon Thomas Blackburn, B.A., and his entomological work. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 36: v-xl

McKeown, K.C. 1948. A reference list of types of Coleoptera in the Australian Museum. Records of the Australian Museum 22(1): 95-139

Nelson, G.H. & Bellamy, C.L. 1991. A revision and phylogenetic re-evaluation of the family Schizopodidae (Coleoptera, Buprestidae). Journal of Natural History 25: 985-1026


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
12-Feb-2010 (import)