Australian Jewel Beetles

An Introduction to the Buprestidae

April 2024
More details
  • Publisher
    CSIRO Publishing
  • Published
    8th April
  • ISBN 9781486317400
  • Language English
  • Pages 224 pp.
  • Size 8" x 10"
  • Images 576 color photos

Australian Jewel Beetles: An Introduction to the Buprestidae is a comprehensive overview of Australia’s buprestid fauna. It presents taxonomic, ecological and biogeographic information for all Australian genera, and their association with the world’s Buprestidae more widely. It explores plant-evolution dependencies, as well as threats and conservation for this diverse fauna.

The authors bring together their extensive experience and understanding of the wealth of Australia’s largely endemic species, supported by spectacular images and discussion of photographic techniques.

Australian Jewel Beetles will be valued by professional biologists and ecologists, as well as entomologists and naturalists in Australia and abroad.


  • Provides an introduction to the Australian buprestid fauna, including its fossil history and biogeography.
  • Covers the taxonomy and known ecology of all Australian genera.
  • Explores plant associations, the role of buprestids as pollinators, and threats and conservation.
  • Presents over 570 color images, many of rare or poorly known species not featured in past publications.
  • Offers insights into the lives of significant past buprestid taxonomists and field naturalists.
  • Includes extensive appendices and tables of known larval food plants and adult plant associations.


1. Introduction
Fossil history
Gondwanan and extra-continental associations
Warning colouration, defence and predators
Life histories
Plant associations
Buprestids as pollinators

Colour section 1: Beetle specimens

2. Composition, ecology and distribution of Australian genera
Subfamily Polycestinae
Subfamily Chrysochroinae
Subfamily Buprestinae
Subfamily Stigmoderinae
Subfamily Agrilinae

Colour section 2: Live beetles

3. Regional buprestid faunas
North Queensland and the Wet Tropics
Central Queensland
Central and western New South Wales
Sydney and the Blue Mountains
Barrington Tops
New England Tablelands and associated montane rainforests
Littoral rainforests of northern New South Wales
Alpine and montane southern New South Wales and eastern Victoria
North-western Victoria
South Australia
South-west Western Australia

Colour section 3: Habitat

4. Threats and conservation

Appendix 1. List of buprestid genera recorded from Australia
Appendix 2. Summary of larval and adult plant relationships
Appendix 3. Pollen loads from Buprestidae collected in lowland subtropical rainforest and wet sclerophyll forest
Appendix 4. Early taxonomists and collectors: 1770–1950
Appendix 5. Divisions of geological time

Geoff Williams

Geoff Williams, OAM, AM is a pollination ecologist, conservation biologist and entomologist with a PhD from the University of New South Wales, and a Research Associate of the Australian Museum. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia and appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his contributions to science and biodiversity conservation. He is the author of The Invertebrate World of Australia’s Subtropical Rainforests and The Flowering of Australia’s Rainforests: Pollination Ecology and Plant Evolution.

Kevin Mitchell

Kevin Mitchell has a background in aircraft design and flight aerodynamics. He has had a long-term interest in photography and photographic techniques including stacked image technology, and developed the equipment and techniques responsible for the majority of those images produced for this book.

Allen Michael Sundholm

Allen Michael Sundholm, OAM has pursued a particular interest in documenting Australia’s diverse jewel beetle fauna since 1980. His field studies have resulted in the discovery of numerous new species and new insights into their ecology and distribution. In 2016, Allen was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in recognition of his contributions to conservation and the environment.

Buprestidae; taxonomy; Coleoptera; invertebrate