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Jewel Bugs

Dave Jay

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
Belinda found these bugs in the Murray Mallee, they were hiding in a fallen branch that was decaying. I decided to keep them, reckless I know but they look even better than the pictures show. I took some of the inside of the wood with me thinking they might be detritus feeders. Once home I gave them native leaf litter of various stages , from decaying to fresh. I initially had tentatively identified them as leaf beetles and given them fresh eucalyptus but the other day a friend helped me identify them as Ground Jewel Bugs. The very few references to them say that they live on Dodonaea (native hop bush) seeds but it seemed like one of those widespread 'facts' that stems from a single source. They are reported as being from all over Australia, it seems unlikely that they are that specialised in their feeding or you'd think they wouldnt occur Australia wide. I have Dodonaea but there's only seed at one time of year, plus I didn't see Dodonaea where I found them, just eucalyptus and acacia. So now I'm putting Dodonaea and acacia leaves in to see if they'll eat the leaves or flowers. One type of eucalyptus got a reaction the other day, for the first time both bugs were out and on the leaves but whether they ate it I don't know.
Both Lychee and Maple are in the same family as Dodonaea so possible foods might be lychee fruit, maple seeds or maple syrup. One of my mates says that they eat hibiscus in peoples gardens, not related to Dodonaea but who knows, might be worth a shot.

Dave Jay

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
Dave..any chance at some lizard pics? Not sure if I asked you that already..:beer:
I'm sure you have! I'll have to go through my PC, I don't use it much, in fact I can't even see it for accumulated "junk" all over the desk! I've been using the phone or netbook lately , I'll get to it though.

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