Castiarina insculpta Carter, 1934

Miena jewel beetle



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Stigmodera insculpta Carter, 1934


Conservation Status

Last Record: 1965

Rediscovered on 14 February 2004 (Smith et al., 2014)


The Miena jewel beetle was originally described from a single specimen (the "holotype") collected in 1920 by Critchley Parker (Carter, 1934). A second specimen was collected in 1965, but several surveys since the 1980's had failed to locate any more specimens and it was believed to be extinct (Bryant & Jackson, 1999). It was finally rediscovered in February 2004 when two specimens were collected within several days (Smith et al. 2004). Another specimen was apparently found in 2008. With another found at the bottom of a boat in 2010 (Tabor & Bowden, 2010).

A field trip by the Tasmanian Field Naturalists Club on 29 January 2012 failed to locate any specimens but did find a male and female of the equally rare Castiarina rudis (Bonham, 2012). However, during the summer of 2012-13 over 100 hundred individuals consisting of both sexes were found at several localities and included range extensions (Bonham et al., 2013). The host plant was thus established as Ozothamnus hookeri (Ibid.), whose expansion has been credited as the reason for the species' sudden abundance (Spencer & Richards, 2014)



Central Plateau, Tasmania, Australia


Biology & Ecology



BMNH (Accession #?) Collected in 1920 by Critchley Parker

SAM (Accession #?) Collected in 1965 by an unknown person

QVM:12:39824 Found by Bill Thompson on February 14, 2004

QVM:12: 43984 Collected by John Stagg in February, 2004

Unaccessioned Photographed by Nuytsia@Tas on March 15, 2008






Original scientific description:

Carter, H. J. (1934). Australian and New Guinea Coleoptera. Notes and new species. No. III. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 598: 252-269.


Other references:

Barker, S. (2006). Castiarina: Australia’s Richest Jewel Beetle Genus. Canberra: ABRS.

Bonham, Kevin. (2012). Jewel Beetle Trip Central Plateau 29 January. Tasmanian Field Naturalists Club Quaterly Bulletin 346: 3.

Bonham, Kevin et al. (2013). Observations of the Miena jewel beetle Castiarina insculpta (Carter, 1934) in the summer of 2012-13. The Tasmanian Naturalist 135: 104-109.

Bryant, Sally L. and Jackson, J. (1999). Tasmania's Threatened Fauna Handbook: What, Where and How to Protect Tasmania's Threatened Animals. Threatened Species Unit, DPIWE, Hobart. [p. 349-350]

Cowie, David. (2001). Jewel Beetles of Tasmania: a Field Naturalist’s Guide. Hobart, Tasmania: Tasmanian Field Naturalists Club, Inc. [Available for purchase]

Fernandez, K. (2004). Miena Jewel Beetle, Castiarina insculpta Preliminary Survey Report October 2004 for the Threatened Species Unit, DPIWE. Department of Primary Industries and Water, Hobart.

Holmes, Branden. (2021). What's Lost and What Remains: The Sixth Extinction in 100 Accounts (eBook). Self published.

Mathews, E. G. (1985). A guide to the Genera of beetles of South Australia. Part 4. Special Educational Bulletin Series (No. 7).
South Australian Museum, Adelaide.

Moore, B. P. (1983). Beetles of South-eastern Australia. Fascicle 5: 69-84. Australian Entomological Press, NSW.

Richards, Karen and Spencer, Chris P. (2016). Observations of Castiarina insculpta (Miena jewel beetle) in 2016. The Tasmanian Naturalist 138: 66-67.

Richards, Karen and Spencer, Chris P. (2017). New distribution and foodplant observations for several Coleoptera species in the Tasmanian Central Highlands, Summer 2017. The Tasmanian Naturalist 139: 99-106.

Richards, Karen and Spencer, Chris P. (2020). Jewels on fire! The Miena Jewel Beetle, Castiarina insculpta (Carter, 1934) (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), and the 2019 Great Pine Tier fire. The Tasmanian Naturalist 142: 35-40.

Richards, Karen and Spencer, Chris P. (2021). First description of a male 'Castiarina insculpta' (Carter, 1934) (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), a threatened Tasmanian jewel beetle. Australian Entomologist 48(4): 289-292. [Abstract]

Smith, B. J., Reid, C. and Gordon, T. (2004). Rediscovery of the Miena jewel beetle (Castiarina insculpta Carter, 1934), formerly listed as extinct. The Tasmanian naturalist 126: 31-34.

Spencer, Chris P. and Richards, Karen. (2014). Did Castiarina insculpta (Miena jewel beetle) ride on the sheep's back? The Tasmanian Naturalist 136: 49-57.

Tabor, John and Bowden, Daniel. (2010). Fishing for a jewel beetle. Forest Practices News 10(2): 1-2.

Threatened Species Section (2021). Listing Statement for Castiarina insculpta (Miena jewel beetle). Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Tasmania. [automatic download]

Threatened Species Section (2023). Miena Jewel Beetle ​(Castiarina insculpta): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link.​ ​Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania. Accessed on 29/3/2023.

Treblico, Laurel. (2022). Treasure hunting brings teams together. Forest Practices News 15(2): 13.


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