Alice Springs Fauna •

Merimna atrata (family Buprestidae – Jewel Beetles) is the only member of the genus Merimna (thus monotypic). A widespread species that is found across most of Australia, it is also known as the ‘fire beetle’ due to it’s behaviour of being attracted to heat and fires.

The female of the species will lay their eggs in the cracks of timber, immediately after a fire, even if the plant is still smouldering. They are known to ber attracted to camp fires, mistaking them for a bushfire, and to a hot brick wall after a very hot day.

The following specimen was retrieved from a swimming pool in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.

Merimna atrata, Alice Springs NT
Merimna atrata, Alice Springs NT
Merimna atrata, Alice Springs NT
Merimna atrata, Alice Springs NT
Merimna atrata, Alice Springs NT
Merimna atrata, Alice Springs NT
Merimna atrata, Alice Springs NT
Merimna atrata, Alice Springs NT
Merimna atrata, Alice Springs NT
Merimna atrata, Alice Springs NT
Merimna atrata, Alice Springs NT
Merimna atrata, Alice Springs NT
Merimna atrata, Alice Springs NT
Merimna atrata, Alice Springs NT
Merimna atrata, Alice Springs NT
Merimna atrata, Alice Springs NT
Merimna atrata, Alice Springs NT
Merimna atrata, Alice Springs NT

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Hexapoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Informal: Pterygotes
  • Order: Coleoptera
  • Suborder: Polyphaga
  • Superfamily: Buprestoidea
  • Family: Buprestidae
  • Subfamily: Buprestinae
  • Tribe: Melanophilini
  • Genus: Merimna
  • Species: Merimna atrata

Footnote & References

  1. Many thanks for ID to Allen Sundholm, creator of Australasian Beetles Only, Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1180404322409639/
  2. Merimna atrata (Gory & Laporte, 1837), Atlas of Living Australia, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/https://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/12cb9375-591a-4088-b949-7586fffe9a68

Alice Springs FaunaAlice Springs Native Bees Alice Springs Beetles Alice Springs Birds Alice Springs Gastropods (Gastropoda) Alice Springs Insects Alice Springs Marsupials Alice Springs Reptiles Alice Springs Spiders

Alice Springs FloraAlice Springs Flora Index Acacia ligulata Annual Yellowtop Bougainvillea Apple Bush Burdekin Plum Carob Tree (Ceratonia siliqa) Cattle Bush Desert Cotton (Aerva javanica) Desert Oak Eremophila Wildberry Feijoa sellowiana Flannel Cudweed Fork-leaf Corkwood Ghost Gum Golden Everlasting Kurrajong Lemon-flowered Gum MacDonnell’s Desert Fuchsia Native Bluebell Native Tomato Needlewood Olive Tree Perennial Yellow Top Rat’s Tail River Red Gum Inland River Red Gum Rosy Dock Round-leaved Mallee Scurvy Grass Silky Eremophila Stemodia viscosa Striped Mintbush Sturt’s Desert Pea Sturt’s Desert Rose Tangled Leschenaultia Tar Vine Weeping Bottlebrush White Cedar Yellow Billybutton Yellow-keeled Swainsona Yellow Oleander