Ceiba Borer Beetle (Euchroma gigantea)

Pricing: Dead (spread, as pictured): $35-$45, depending on size.
Geographic Range: Mexico to Brazil; Cuba
View: Top View
Size: Length: 5-6 cm

Image Copyright 2003
Barbara Strnadova

Euchroma gigantea is the largest of the Jewel Beetles in the New World - and also one of the most attractive. In fact, its Latin namesake translates to "colorful giant." Newly emerged adults will have a coating of yellow wax dust, which obscures their metallic colors until worn off. This wax is only secreted once and often mistaken for pollen. The larvae are miners of fallen timber (Ceiba pentandra, Bombacopsis spp. and Pseudobombax spp.) and the adults may be found walking around on the logs. This large beetle is a strong flier and is often attracted to freshly cut trees. It's common name is the Ceiba Borer and in forests where species of trees in the family Bombacaceae (such as Kapok trees) can be found, it is fairly common. The adult beetles, when available, are roasted and eaten by the Tzeltal-Mayans of Chiapas, Mexico. The beautiful elytra are often used in jewelery and the adornment of textiles. The Shaur (Jivaro) people of the Amazon Jungle use the beetle to make decorative ornaments symbolizing wealth, well being and personal power. They refer to the beetles’ elytra as "wauwau."