ROMANIA, 19-22.VII.2007 "Cypriacis splendens"

Another visit to Băile Herculane, at the same places where we were in the springtime. My travelling companions were Tamás Németh and Attila Kotán. My major aim was to find the splendid jewel beetle, Cypriacis splendens (Fabricius, 1775). This rare and sumptuous species was captured here in 1968 by the late Csaba Juhász. The extremely hot temperature (sometimes 40°C) made the climbing to the top of the Domogled mountain most difficult, and there were not many insects at all. Because of the dry summer only very few beetles were seen, so we headed for the pine forests with little hope.

Shopping in the main street of the town.

We entered into a gorge at an old quarry, near to the village Pecinişca.

In the morning, reptiles did not hide away from the heat. This is a common wall lizard, Podarcis muralis (Laurenti, 1768).

Cooling at a cave entrance.

A nice agile frog, Rana dalmatina Fitzinger in Bonaparte, 1838

Surprisingly enough, stone crayfishes, Austropotamobius torrentium (Schrank, 1803), were walking exposed among the cool rocks in the dry streambed.

A little bit uphill we found the stream.

On the steep hillsides above Băile Herculane, Banatian black pine. Pinus nigra banatica Georgescu et Ionescu 1935, forms real forests.

Attention is attracted to this botanical speciality by an information table.

On the top of the Domogled (1105m) we saw old, dried out trees as well.

On some of these trunks we found fresh exit holes of Cypriacis splendens (Fabricius, 1775).

With great luck, we found a dead beetle in one of the holes, which produces an evidence to that the holes were made by Cypriacis splendens.

Based on its condition we can declare that it died last year.

And with even bigger luck, we found a live female!

The splendid jewel beetle, Cypriacis splendens (Fabricius, 1775), probably got his name after its brilliant colours.

View of the city from under the Domogled.

In the extreme drought, only houseleeks were flovering. This is a common houseleek (Sempervivum tectorum L.)

"Black-pine monuments"

This beautiful blue bark-gnawing beetle, Temnochila caerulea (Olivier, 1790), was found beneath loose bark of dry pine trunks.

On the barkless dry trunks a jewel beetle, Buprestis haemorrhoidalis Herbst, 1780, was laying her eggs. It was the last beetle we saw, and in the scorching heat we went home to arrive before midnight.

The sun went down in Romania, so the heat eased in Hungary.

And here is a list of the beetles species of our collecting (edited by T. Németh):

Rhysodidae: Omoglymmius germari

Prostomidae: Prostomis mandibularis
Buprestidae: Cypriacis splendens, Buprestis octoguttata, Buprestis haemorrhoidalis, Anthaxia podolica, Agrilus cuprescens, Eurythyrea austriaca (elytrae)
Tenebrionidae: Cylindronotus exaratus, Helops coeruleus, Corticeus unicolor, Enoplopus velikensis
Trogositidae: Temnochila caerulea, Tenebroides fuscus, Peltis grossa
Eucnemidae: Nematodes filum, Isorhipis nigriceps,
Colydiidae: Dechomus sulcicollis
Leiodidae: Anisotoma sp.
Anobiidae: sp.1 , sp.2
Lucanidae: Dorcus parallelipipedus, Ceruchus chrysomelinus, Lucanus cervus
Rutelidae: Mimela aurata
Osmoderma eremita (elytra)
: Agonum sexpunctatum, Carabus violaceus, Carabus variolosus

Anthribidae: Platystomus albinus
Cerambycidae: Stictoleptura rubra, Hylotrupes bajulus, Rosalia alpina, Leptura aurulenta, Xylosteus spinolae (larvae), Arhopalus rusticus, Aegosoma scabricornis
Oedemeridae: Nacerdes carniolica
Melyridae: Haplocnemus pulverulentus, Danacaea nigritarsis, Dasytes flavipes
Elmidae: Elmis sp.

Translated by O. Merkl & T. Németh