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Morocco - June 2012

Morocco - June 2012

Welcome to the presentation about a journey to Morocco. Some time ago it was a dream for me traveling into this beautiful land and to see the nature as well as collecting Jewel Beetles. In the beginning of june of the year 2012 my dream became truth and we had the oportunity to visit the region of the Middle Atlas. The airplane brought us to Rabat, the capital of Morocco. With an chartered car we drove into the direction of Fès and our journey began…



… we arrived to the Tazekka National Park between Rif Mountains and Middle Atlas.

Anthaxia protractipennis

A common Jewel Beetle sat on a white-yellow flower: Anthaxia protractipennis Obenberger, 1914.


The mountainous landscape sometimes is covered with plantages of olives.


Flowering Umbelliferae was visited by a cuckoo wasp (Chrysididae)…

Anthaxia scutellaris

…and by a common Jewel Beetle: Anthaxia scutellaris (Géné, 1839).


The next day we spent all the time to discover the Tazekka National Park. We found a small forest with Pinus sp.

Acmaeodera rubromaculata

Acmaeodera rubromaculata Lucas, 1844 was swarming around different kinds of flowers.

Acmaeodera bipunctata

Also Acmaeodera bipunctata (Olivier, 1790) was present in the pine forest.


Common trees in the Tazekka National Park are Quercus sp., which we had examined.

Acmaeodera degener quattordecimpunctata

The most common species of Jewel Beetles on the trip: Acmaeodera degener ssp. quattordecimpunctata (Villers, 1789).

Acmaeodera affinis

Acmaeodera affinis Lucas, 1846, one more species typical for oak woods in the mediterranean regions of northern parts of Africa.


In the next morning we passed this nice valley to visit another part of the National Park.


This bushes of Rosa sp. is hostplant for the following Jewel Beetle.

Agrilus solieri

Agrilus solieri Gory & Laporte, 1837.

Anthaxia dimidiata

The colourful Anthaxia dimidiata (Thunberg, 1789) could be found at places with water.

Acmaeodera pulchra

Hostplant of this Jewel Beetle is Populus sp. – Acmaeodera pulchra (Fabricius, 1793) – one of the biggest species of the genus Acmaeodera in the western mediterranean area.

Locusta sp.

Locusta sp. sat in a fruit tree.


Small creek is a green oasis in contrast to the dry and desert-like land in the surroundings.

Anthaxia escalerina

Anthaxia escalerina Obenberger, 1923 needs such places to survive.


Undetermined Asteraceae which is often hostplant for many species of Jewel Beetles.

Sphenoptera gemmata

For example Sphenoptera gemmata (Olivier, 1790).


We left the Tazekka National Park and made a last picture of the beautiful landscape.


On the way to our second target of our journey, the cedar forests of the Middle Atlas, we take a short break to rest. On a stone I could observed these nice coloured cuckoo wasp (Crysididae).


Sparse ground vegetation, because of hungry sheeps and goats. Only trees were able to survive.


This flying emerald (Chrysididae) was found swarming very fast around a bush of Juniperus sp.


In the afternoon we reached the cedar forests.

Anthaxia bonvoloirii

Anthaxia bonvoloirii Abeille de Perrin, 1869 could be observed.

Anthaxia pleuralis aida

Typical species of the cedar forests are Anthaxia pleuralis ssp. aida Cobos, 1956…

Anthaxia carmen maroccana

…and Anthaxia carmen ssp. maroccana Schaefer, 1937.

Ifrane

We were overnight in the town Ifrane. As we woke up in the next morning we could not believe that we are in Africa. These houses really looks like such ones from central Europe.


Butterflies were paralyzed by the cold from the night.


An oak forest was focus of our interest.


And another cuckoo wasp (Chrysididae) flew around dry oak wood.

Cephalanthera rubra

Flowering Cephalanthera rubra (L.) (Orchidaceae).

Calosoma sycophanta

A big Beetle was walking on the ground: Calosoma sycophanta Linnaeus, 1758 (Carabidae).

Cedrus atlantica

Monumental Atlas Cedars (Cedrus atlantica Manetti).


A fallen giant. Such dead wood is very attractive for Jewel Beetles.

Phaenops marmottani

Phaenops marmottani (Fairmaire, 1868), an endemic Jewel Beetles of the north african cedar forests.

Hyles cf. euphorbiae

The larva of Hyles cf. euphorbiae on spurge (Euphorbiaceae).


Undetermined green grasshopper was snapped by the camera.


Next to the field was growing Fraxinus sp.


A beautiful cuckoo wasp (Chrysididae) swarmed around the leaves.


One of very rare places where thistles and numerous flowering plants were not eaten by sheeps.

Acmaeoderella vaulogeri

Many species of the genus Acmaeoderella could be found at this place. On the picture Acmaeoderella vaulogeri (Abeille de Perrin, 1893) is shown.

Acmaeoderella sefrensis

Acmaeoderella sefrensis (Pic, 1895).

Acmaeoderella lanuginosa

Acmaeoderella lanuginosa (Gyllenhal, 1817).

Acmaeoderella coarctata

Acmaeoderella coarctata (Lucas, 1846).

Julodis pilosa

Julodis pilosa (Fabricius, 1798), a big Jewel Beetle could be found near the ground.


The „normal“ landscape. Nearly all of the ground plants were destroyed by the sheeps.

Anthaxia nigritula martini

Only some flowering bushes of Rosa sp. gave flower visiting Jewel Beetles, like Anthaxia nigritula ssp. martini Brisout de Barneville, 1883, the opportunity to eat pollen.

Argynnis

Argynnis sp.

Macaca sylvanus

Barbary macaques have a picnic. Macaca sylvanus Linnaeus, 1758.

Julodis manipularis

Julodis manipularis (Fabricius, 1798), this so far known endemic moroccan Jewel Beetle sat on a very spiny bush.


At the last day we visited the forest of Jaba in the west of Ifrane. It is a typical forest with Quercus sp.

Anthaxia fulgidipennis

The commonest species of its group in Morocco: Anthaxia fulgidipennis Lucas, 1846.


Dead wood and hot temperatures. Two good reasons for searching after Jewel Beetles.


Flowering bush of Rosa sp. with numerous Jewel Beetles and bees on it.

Anthaxia salicis

One of them was Anthaxia salicis (Fabricius, 1776).

Testudo graeca marokkensis

Back again in Rabat, a turtle was crossing the street: Testudo graeca ssp. marokkensis Pieh & Perälä, 2002.

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