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Spain-June 2013

Spain - June 2013

Every year millions of tourists from all over the world visiting the metropole Madrid on the iberian peninsula. In contrast to the typical sightseeing tours in the capital, we wanted to discover the nature in the surroundings. Stations of our trip and especially some interesting Jewel Beetles are shown in the following pictures.

Retama sphaerocarpa

We began our journey near the airport at this hilly place in the southeast-side of Madrid. In the foreground is growing Retama sphaerocarpa L.

Anthaxia spinolae

Anthaxia spinolae
Gory & Laporte, 1839 could be found on Retama sphaerocarpa L. or on yellow flowers next to it. This Jewel Beetle was one of the commonest on the journey.

Sanguisorba minor

Sometimes hidden on the ground could be found a small plant. - Sanguisorba minor Scop.

Trachys lichtensteini

It is the hostplant of Trachys lichtensteini Buysson, 1918. So far known this is the first record of this species for the iberian peninsula. The mines of the larvae helps very easy to identify this taxon. Specimens were found at different places in the surroundings of Madrid and it seems to be common in this region.

Mine of Trachys lichtensteini

Mine of Trachys lichtensteini Buysson, 1918 inside a leaf of Sanguisorba minor Scop. with the characteristic black egg.

Beautiful hillside with flowering meadow.

Orobanche gracilis

Orobanche gracilis
Sm. (Orobanchaceae), using its roots to get nutrients from other plants next to it.

Ferula communis

Ferula communis L. is the hostplant of Anthaxia anatolica ssp. ferulae Géné, 1839. The Jewel Beetle sitting inside the “leaf bags”.

Sun-exposed hillside with Quercus sp., Ulmus sp. etc.

Sphenoptera barbarica

Sphenoptera barbarica
(Gmelin, 1790) flew near the ground.

Acmaeoderella cyanipennis hispana

Acmaeoderella cyanipennis
ssp. hispana
(Abeille de Perrin, 1900) could be observed.

Rio Manzanares

Rio Manzanares. Ulmus sp. and Fraxinus sp. dominate the landscape next to the river.

Anthaxia bicolor comptei

Anthaxia bicolor
ssp. comptei
Cobos, 1966 sat on dead branches of Fraxinus sp.

Psammodromus algirus

Psammodromus algirus
(Linnaeus, 1758) ran on the sandy ground.

At the next day we went in the direction of Aranjuez, 40 km in the south of Madrid. We found this floodplain with Populus sp. and Ulmus sp.

Acmaeodera maroccana

Acmaeodera maroccana
Obenberger, 1916 sat on flowers.

Mt. Batres

Mt. Batres in the southwestern part of Madrid.

The hill from downwards. Very dry oak forest with an interesting fauna of Jewel Beetles.

Fraxinus sp.

Near a small river dying Fraxinus sp. was hostplant for some Jewel Beetles.

Anthaxia madridensis

One of them was Anthaxia madridensis Bílý & Verdugo, 2013.

Nice flowering meadow.

At our next day we discovered the western parts of Madrid and stopped at this picturesque landscape.

A stone wall absorbs the sunlight. In consequence the temperatures on the yellow flowers are higher than in the surroundings and the Jewel Beetles are very fast.

Acmaeodera nigellata

Acmaeodera nigellata
Abeille de Perrin, 1904.

Sierra de Guadarrama

Sierra de Guadarrama. Extensive forest with Quercus sp. and Fraxinus sp.

Agrilus beauprei mourguesi

Agrilus beauprei
ssp. mourguesi
Schaefer, 1954 on leaves of Fraxinus sp.

We decided to go further into the mountains and started our trip in this pine wood forest.

Anthaxia parallela

One of the commonest Jewel Beetles at this place was Anthaxia parallela Gory & Laporte, 1839.

Juniperus sp.

In the foreground grew Juniperus sp.

Anthaxia confusa

It is the hostplant of Anthaxia confusa Gory, 1841.

El Escorial

Beautiful views to the monastery of “San Lorenzo de El Escorial”. 

Geranium sp.

Undeterminated Geranium sp.

Agapanthia irrorata

Agapanthia irrorata
(Fabricius, 1787), a Longhorn Beetle (Cerambycidae).

High into the mountains leaves of oak began to come out in the beginning of June!

Ciconia ciconia

White Stork [Ciconia ciconia (Linnaeus, 1758)] – family meeting.

White Stork. Parents with their children.

We spent our last day to complete the tour around Madrid and visited the region  eastwards of the capital. A lot of different ground plants make this place attractive for Jewel Beetles.

Phlomis sp.

Yellow flowering Phlomis sp.

Trachys pumilus

A small Jewel Beetles needs this plant for its development. - Trachys pumilus (Illiger, 1803).

Mine of Trachys pumilus

The larvae live inside the leaf. Brown parts of the leaf indicates the presence of the Jewel Beetle.

The weather became more and more uncomfortable.

Anthaxia hungarica

Anthaxia hungarica (Scopoli, 1772) – one of the commonest Jewel Beetles, which take its development in wood of Quercus sp.

Galls caused by a small wasp.- Cynipidae (Hymenoptera).

Acmaeodera pilosellae
Acmaeodera pilosellae (Bonelli, 1812) on a yellow flower. Larvae of this species living in different kind of wood, especially in Quercus sp.

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