Is the Ceiba borer insect, Euchroma gigantea, pictured in Classic Maya art or mentioned in myths?. If examined with a stereoscan electron microscope, the surface of the elytra of Euchroma gigantea L. shows a considerable amount of small indented scales. The giant metallic ceiba borer, Euchroma giganteum, is native to the Nearctic and . org/​giant-metallic-ceiba-borer/​euchroma-gigantea/​image-G

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Bees in Guatemala do not have stingers, and they are so tiny often you can barely see them we know this since we raise wild stingless bees in front of our office in Guatemala City.

Wasps come in every size from normal to gigantic. And there is even one wasp of Mexico and Guatemala which makes honey! It is called the Mexican Honey Wasp. It is normal that many people are afraid of insects, but when Dr Nicholas goes into the jungles he often has up to two giant wild tarantulas wandering up and down his hands and arm. It is not uncommon to wake up with a scorpion crawling across your stomach in your bed.

Today we will introduce one of the more colorful beetles of Guatemala: This discussion is about an insect which has a glowing jewel-like surface. Indeed native people of South America use the insect as a precious jewel. This same insect often appears covered with a yellow powder. Some sources say it is a wax which is exuded once upon its top surface. But other people have commented that it looks like pollen which has stuck to a sticky surface.

I will defer to entomologists as to the actual nature of the powdery surface. And whether once it loses its yellow, that the yellow never appears; this I would need to have proof that someone has monitored the same individual beetle for many months.

But whatever the beetle biologists encounter, the ceiba borer beetle is definitely an amazing bug. I spend every Christmas vacation getting as far out in the swamps or jungles of Guatemala as possible. My goal is to escape Christmas parties and escape excess alcohol and to spend the time learning about plants, insects, birds, flowers that are part of the Maya world.

Christmas weekend I was guest of the finca of Rick Bronson, courtesy of the finca manager at that time, Scott Forsythe. Scott is studying stingless bees and has been helpful in introducing me to people he knows who have stingless bees. Rick Bronson has worked in archaeology of Guatemala in past decades so I first met him probably 30 years ago. I was re-introduced to him and to Scott by Kevin Lock, who is a knowledgeable guide in the Rio Dulce area.

I indicated to Kevin that we were looking for the insects that appear in Maya bowls ekchroma vases of the Tepeu 1 period at Tikal and Uaxactun first half of the Late Classic. We have long ago recognized the Maya insect as one of the lightning bugs it is usually mis-labeled in reports on ceramics as a cockroach, or occasionally even more inaccurately, as a bee.

Kevin suggested that we euchromw at the Ceiba borer beetle. It has not yet been realistic to find a person to go collect insects for us, and since we are tracking down species of plants and species of creatures including a dozen insects. But the day before Christmas someone in our euchroa noticed a relatively large insect crawling around the kitchen out on a dock, over the Rio Dulce. Since it was large, and iridescent, we decided to photograph it. Once we had the photos back in our office we realized this was probably the Ceiba borer, Euchroma gigantea.


On the Internet I see the species name spelled three different ways:. Since the insect was already injured and ailing, he, or she, did not pose well, and we had no lighting. Plus it was raining all night and much of the day, so we were pretty soaked and covered with mud.

Euchroka time we will try to get better photos we had only a towel as a backdrop! Since the insect has a beautiful flowing surface, it is also called the Jewel Beetle or Metallic Ceiba Borer. The large beetle which is often painted on polychrome Maya bowls and vases of Late Classic Tepeu Tikal and Uaxactun has only one coloration spot; this ceiba borer insect has two. Compared with other photographs on the Internet, such gifantea Flickr by James Booneit appears that the specimen we had on Lake Izabal was rather worn out; the colors are nowhere near as bright and beautiful as others.

In the future we will work at finding the larvae, reported to be unexpectedly long! And we will take better photographs next time. Ceiba borer beetle, Euchroma gigantea, photographed by Andrea Mendoza, December It was wandering around on the trunk, about 2 meters from ground level. When we approached the tree it moved higher up, so either it has excellent eyesight or other manner of sensing giganteq of people.

Then Andrea Mendoza found more of these insects inside a giant rotten core ceiba tree on the finca of her parents, outside Retalhuleu. Ceiba borer beetle, Euchroma gigantea, photographed by Andrea Mendoza, inside the rotted hollow core of the trunk of Ceiba pentandra near Retalhuleu, Guatemala.

How many Mayan people eat the ceiba borer, Euchroma gigantea? The Highland Tzeltal Maya reportedly eat this insect Grzimek, but no citationbut they are primarily in Highland Chiapas. Virtually every web site all over the Internet repeats the statement that the Tzeltal Mayan people of Chiapas, Mexico eat the beetle. The Cascajal Block, thought by some to be an Olmec hieroglyphic inscription, but thought to be a fake by other Mesoamerican scholars, shows insects.

Is the Ceiba borer insect, Euchroma giganteapictured in Classic Maya art or mentioned in myths? Bees, beetles probably lightning bugs and other insects are clearly pictured in Classic Maya art, especially in painted ceramic bowls and vases of Tepeu 1 of Peten.

There are a few from Tepeu 2 period. Ants are mentioned in the Popol Vuh leaf-cutting ants which often cut and carry flowers instead of leaves. Butterflies are common in the murals and ceramics of Teotihuacan, including Teotihoid style incense burners from the Costa Sur of Guatemala.

But butterflies are rarely found in Mayan art. Scorpions technically are not insects but their images appear on Classic Maya ceramic art and as eccentric flints or eccentric obsidians as offerings underneath stelae. The Post Classic Mayan codices show scorpions and other creatures, but not many beetles. Beetles are found mainly on Tepeu 1 painted bowls and small vases of the Peten area.

I have never met anyone in Guatemala who eats this insect. But the Popol Vuh says clearly that ancestral Mayan people at bee larvae and wasp larvae. Today people all around Guatemala eat Zompopo de Mayo the female of the leaf-cutting ants; they come out by the thousands during Spring, at which time many are caught and eaten by local people.


Since the Ceiba pentandra tree is sacred to the Classic Maya, and since the Maya picture sacred insects, it is logical to ask if a ceiba-related insect is one of the sacred Maya beetles? However the double spot pattern on prothorax on this insect is totally different than the focus on a single dark spot of the sacred Maya insect.

File:Euchroma gigantea Linné, ().jpg – Wikimedia Commons

Plus, there are indeed other insects which iggantea much much closer to the insect pictured on painted pottery at Uaxactun and Tikal. Nonetheless, we should keep track of the ceiba borer, Euchroma giganteanas it is reportedly edible and hence should be included in any thorough study of Maya diet.

Plus the color and iridescent effect is quite noticeable and surely the Maya would have been attracted to this insect. Our team of researchers are preparing a bibliography euchromz the ceiba borer jewel beetle. It takes a while since we are studying all creatures of Mesoamerica related to Mayan culture plus all fascinating animals, insects, and even shellfish of Guatemala and Mesoamerica.

Many web pages call this the Ceiba borer insect, Euchroma giganteum.

Euchroma gigantea

Wikipedia calls it Euchroma gigantea. Updated February after more research after I found it was a potential pollinator. Posted December after finding ceiba borer beetles in two rotting ceiba trees. First researched January Interesting insects of the Mayans Bees in Guatemala do not have stingers, and they are so tiny often you can barely see them we know this since we raise wild stingless bees in front of our office in Guatemala City.

And beetles come in every size, shape, and color that you could possible imagine. An amazing insect gugantea Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, and Honduras This discussion is about an insect which has a glowing jewel-like surface. Ceiba borer insect, Euchroma giganteacommon where there are ceiba trees The day before Christmas we found a giant Ceiba borer insect, Euchroma gigantea, along Rio Dulce, Izabal, Guatemala. Ceiba borer beetle, Euchroma gigantea, photographed by Andrea Mendoza, Dec. Waterbirds of Lake Yaxha, Peten.

Mammals that Live, Eat, or Sleep in Trees. Bibliography on Cabrito, Givantea temama Brocket deer, Mazama americana. Insect Pollinators more than just bees. Elaeidobius kamerunicus, Bibliography Euchroma gigantea Bibliography Heliconius sp. Bibliography List insect pollinators Lobometopon sp. Bibliography Wasps as pollinators of the fig tree Bibliography. Camera Reviews for zoologists.

Tripod heads for digital photography Backdrop, background materials.

Maya Cartoon Comic Book Characters. Biology of Tapirus bairdii. Marine crabs Decapoda River and lake crabs Decapoda Shrimp. Penaeidae River shrimp Lobster Homarus americanus.

Conch Bi-valve Spondylus Shells as origin of dye Shells as jewelry. Shellfish, rivers and lakes. Spider monkey, Ateles geoffroyi Howler monkey, Alouatta pigra. Vampire bats False vampire Vampyrum spectrum Leaf-nosed bats Other bats. Ants, leaf-cutting Cochineal insects, Gigantes coccus. Water birds to come.