BuprestidaeMore Buprestidae Jewel Beetles Astraeus Calodema plebeia Castiarina Cyrioides Diadoxus Diphucrania Melobasis Merimna atrata Metaxymorpha gloriosa Stigmodera Temognatha Torresita cuprifera

Merimna atrata (family Buprestidae – Jewel Beetles) is the only member of the genus Merimna (thus monotypic), and is widespread across most of continental Australia.

Fire Beetle (Merimna atrata), Darwin NT © Mark Hanlon
Fire Beetle (Merimna atrata), Darwin NT © Mark Hanlon

Known as the ‘fire beetle’ due to it’s behaviour of being attracted to heat and fires. The mated females will happily lay their eggs in the freshly-opened cracks of timber straight after a fire, even if the burnt plant is still smouldering. They are attracted to camp fires, mistaking them for a bushfire, and to a hot brick wall after a very hot day.

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

BuprestidaeMore Buprestidae Jewel Beetles Astraeus Calodema plebeia Castiarina Cyrioides Diadoxus Diphucrania Melobasis Merimna atrata Metaxymorpha gloriosa Stigmodera Temognatha Torresita cuprifera

ColeopteraColeoptera Index Amarygmus sp Anoplognathus sp Aphanestes gymnopleura Buprestidae Carphurus Cerambycidae Coleoptera (Beetles) Curculionidae Dung Beetle Eretes australis Helea scaphiformis Johannica gemellata (Pandorea Leaf Beetle) Ladybirds (Beetles) Lepidiota Lucanidae Lycidae Neospades sp Omorgus Paropsine Beetle Paropsisterna sp Phorticosomus sp Pittosporum Leaf Beetle (Lamprolina impressicollis) Protaetia fusca Pterohelaeus sp Rhipiceridae Scarabaeidae Xylophilostenus octophyllus

InsectsBees Beetles Blattodea Butterflies Coleoptera Cicada Crabronidae Diptera Dragonflies & Damselflies Formicidae Hemiptera Heteroptera (True Bugs) Mango Planthopper Moths Orthoptera Orthopteroid Processionary Caterpillar Stink Bugs, Shield Bugs and Allies Syrphidae Wasps Water Scorpion (Laccotrephes tristis) Witchetty Grub