The giant metallic ceiba borer, ("Giant metallic ceiba borer (Euchroma giganteum)", 2013; "Giant metallic ceiba borer beetle", 2009; Evans, 2008; O'Toole, 1993), is native to the Nearctic and Palearctic regions. It occupies much of Central and South America and a lower portion of North America. The beetles range from southern Arizona and New Mexico through Mexico. They are also known to live in Brazil and Argentina.
Ceiba borers live in warm regions of up to 1,200 meters in elevation with specifically high numbers found in the Amazon. The larvae are typically found in the soft wood of trees in the Bombacaceae family. The adult beetles are found mostly on acadia branches in arid desert flats on summer days. The adult beetles are also found walking or flying around the trunks of trees. The beetles frequently visit flowers, and various other deciduous trees or large shrubs, where they feed on pollen. ("Giant metallic ceiba borer (Euchroma giganteum)", 2013; Evans, 2008)
- Range elevation
- 1200 (high) m
- 3937.01 (high) ft
- Range length
- 5 to 8 cm
- 1.97 to 3.15 in
Eggs are laid in late summer in trees or stumps. The eggs hatch after about 19 days and remain in the wood for up to a year or more with no light exposure. They go through several larval instar stages, as well as a pupal stage. When the emerge as adults, they leave their tree or stump. ("Giant metallic ceiba borer (Euchroma giganteum)", 2013; Schwab, 2004)
- Development - Life Cycle
Once the pair have mated, the female finds a tree that has damage due to disease, insect infestation, lighting strikes, or physical damage. The female beetle will lay her eggs in rough bark after chewing a shallow hole into the bark. The beetle will lay 240 eggs total throughout her life span. The eggs will be laid in 4 groups of 10 eggs on one plant. They will keep this pattern until all 240 eggs are laid on multiple plants. ("Giant metallic ceiba borer (Euchroma giganteum)", 2013; Nichols, 1910; Schwab, 2004; Sutherland, 2006)
- Key Reproductive Features
- seasonal breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Breeding season
- Mating takes place in late summer.
- Parental Investment
As larvae, they spend up to two years of their lifetime in the tree that they are laid in, until they are capable of flight. Once they are adults, they can live anywhere from two to four years. (Schwab, 2004)
- Typical lifespan
- 2 to 4 years
- Typical lifespan
Communication and Perception
- Perception Channels
Giant metallic ceiba borers have different diet trends throughout their life. In the larval stage,they feast on the decomposing parts of the trees in which they were hatched in. Although the larvae have the ability to move in the tree, they do not have the ability to move between trees or to other plants, so they have to feed on the plant that they are born in. Adults eat leaves and pollen among a large variety of plants, though there is very little known about the specific eating habits of the Buprestidae family of beetles. ("Giant metallic ceiba borer beetle", 2009; Gervais, et al., 2012)
- Plant Foods
- roots and tubers
- wood, bark, or stems
- seeds, grains, and nuts
The only known predator to the metallic ceiba borer is humans; the Tzeltal-mayan Indian tribe in Mexico as well as Amazonian tribes eat the adult beetles and use the beetles wing casing as jewelry or ornaments. The thick, hard elytra of ("Giant metallic ceiba borer (Euchroma giganteum)", 2013; Hogue, 1993; Schwab, 2004)likely protects it from many other predators. The color of the elytra may also function as camouflage.
- Known Predators
- humans, Homo sapiens
- Ecosystem Impact
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
The giant metallic ceiba borer is harvested by humans, especially by many amazonian tribes, for jewelry. They use the colorful and hard elytra for things such as necklaces or earrings. The jewelry has a large impact on the economy of these tribes because it can be sold for money. One tribe is also known to eat these beetles. These beetles are also considered a prize or trophy specimen for insect collectors, due to their large size and colorful appearance. (Hogue, 1993; Schwab, 2004)
- Positive Impacts
- body parts are source of valuable material
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
The diet of the metallic ceiba borer consists mainly of plant matter. There have been numerous accounts of (Utah State University, 2014)eating the roots and bark of cultivated and ornamental trees. Plants are at risk when they are newly planted from a nursery, along with trees whose trunks are exposed to direct sunlight.
- Negative Impacts
- crop pest
has no special conservation status.
Sebastian Fannan (author), Bridgewater College, Albert FitzPatrick (author), Bridgewater College, Quinn Morgan (author), Bridgewater College, Tamara Johnstone-Yellin (editor), Bridgewater College, Angela Miner (editor), Animal Diversity Web Staff.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.
uses sound to communicate
Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
helps break down and decompose dead plants and/or animals
- active during the day, 2. lasting for one day.
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
union of egg and spermatozoan
an animal that mainly eats leaves.
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
- internal fertilization
fertilization takes place within the female's body
A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
Living on the ground.
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
uses sight to communicate
2013. "Giant metallic ceiba borer (http://www.arkive.org/giant-metallic-ceiba-borer/euchroma-gigantea/image-G103396.html.)" (On-line). Arkive. Accessed February 03, 2014 at
2009. "Giant metallic ceiba borer beetle" (On-line). Glasgow Museum. Accessed February 03, 2014 at http://www.lifeintherainforest.org/giant-metallic-ceiba-borer-beetle.
Evans, A. 2008. Field guide to insects and spiders of north america. New York, New York: Andrew Stewart Publishing, Inc.
Gervais, D., D. Greene, T. Work. 2012. Causes of variation in wood boring beetle damage in fire killed black spruce (Picea mariana) forests in the central boreal forest of Quebec.. Ecoscience, 19/4: 398-403.
Hawkeswood, T., P. Magnus. 1985. A review of larval hosts records for Australian jewel beetles. Victorian Naturalist, 99: 240-251.
Hogue, C. 1993. Latin American Insects and Entomology. Los Angeles, California: University of California Press.
Nichols, M. 1910. The spermatogenesis of The Biological Bulletin, 19/3: 167-178..
O'Toole, C. 1993. The encyclopedia of insects. New York, New York: Facts on File Inc.
Schwab, I. 2004. Jewels of the jungles. British journal of opthalmology, 88/7: 857.
Sutherland, C. 2006. Wood Boring Bettles. O & T Guide, 10: 1-5.
Utah State University, 2014. "Top 20 insects" (On-line). Accessed February 03, 2014 at https://utahpests.usu.edu/uppdl/htm/top-20-insects#flathead_beetle.