With the onset of the summer, metallic beetles (Julodis) begin to appear. It can be easily seen on the branches and trunks of trees and plants. It quickly draws attention with the sound of a continuous 'Zeez'. This beetle variety, distinguished by its bright colours, is also called a "wood carpenter". According to scientific studies, these beetles are classified as one of the largest groups of beetles, and insect studies confirm that they "include 15,000 known species in 450 genera".
These beetles are well-known by their cylindrical or oval shape, and their exterior looks shiny, mainly when sunlight is reflected on the back of their oval body. Whoever observes the movements of this insect finds it less mobile, as it sometimes spends long hours without moving. This unique insect is characterised by its strong focus, especially when the process of laying larvae begins on the roots and branches of trees.
Several studies indicate that "this insect rarely attacks green branches and trunks, and often prefers dead branches. At the same time, it is considered dangerous to the extent that it can destroy trees and their fruits and cause great economic damage. The beetles practise a method of "bite" to defend themselves if they sense danger and try as much as possible to avoid any attack that may occur by some birds or animals that feed on the flowers and leaves of trees.
The observers of this insect find that it secretes sticky fluids on trees that destroy its branches for a long time. "No classification has been established for the species of beetles present in the Sultanate of Oman so far, although it is clear that they are abundant in agricultural and desert environments," an environmentalist told the Observer.
Beetles are considered in the order of insects, their species reach 400,000, and even today, new species are discovered and known from time to time. Beetles live in most environments, fields to forests and deserts, but it is noted that they have not been recorded in the Polar regions or the sea zones.
Beetles feed on plants, fungi and invertebrates, gnawing on living and dead trees from the inside. Also, some of its species are predatory, feeding on devouring vermin and on young birds and mammals. Some species are considered domestic and agricultural pests that gnaw furniture from the inside and destroy crops and stored materials. Scientific studies on insects indicate the use of the wings of these beetles in the manufacture of ornaments and decorations in some Asian countries, including India, Thailand and Japan.
Omanis call these beetles' Funzouz'. This species is known among the social levels because it is possible to see it, especially during the summer season. Nature specialists consider "some beetles useful, such as, ground beetles. They feed on insects, larvae and harmful vermin, and thus play an important role in achieving ecological balance".
TEXT & PHOTOS: YAHYA ALSALMANI