One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A chiefly tropical beetle that has bold metallic colours and patterns. The larvae are mainly wood-borers and may be serious pests of timber.
Family Buprestidae: numerous genera
- ‘The jewel beetle, Melanophila acuminate, is a living fire detector.’
- ‘The University of Bonn uses the infrared-sensitive sensors of the jewel beetle as a template for a remote fire-sensitive network.’
- ‘Beginning in the Meiji period, mushiya, or shops that sold singing insects, fireflies, and jewel beetles as well as cages and trapping devices, began to spring up.’
- ‘Scientists have calculated that the European jewel beetle Melanophila acuminata, about 1 cm. in length, can detect a 25-acre forest fire from 7.5 miles away.’
- ‘Apart from these two insects, people in South Africa eat other species of Lepidoptera larvae, termites, locusts, white-grubs, jewel beetles and a few other insects.’
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