Buprestidae of Madagascar
(with Mascarene and Comores)

The big isle of Madagascar (with few small islands in the Southern Indian Ocean) represents a very unusual region, quite different, in its Fauna, from the Ethiopic Region (Africa, South of Sahara, and the Southern side of Arabian Peninsula). Many Ethiopic anmals don't live in Madagascar, because it was separated from Africa by the Channel of Mozambico many millions years ago, when life was different than now; many modern groups evolved after in Africa or in other lands of the ancient World, and their Fauna was changed because many ancient groups disappeared. This is particularly true among Vertebartes, and especially Mammalians. So, when monkeys evolved, all first primates disappeared from all the World (except very few species in Africa and S.E. Asia), but not in Madagascar, where true monkeys didn't arrive, and here Lemurs could survive. The same happened in many other groups. Among Buprestidae, we can notice there is a quite strange population, with a mix of species and genera related with groups living in Africa, India and S.E Asia and also South America! (Madagascar was part of Gondwana, with South America, Africa, India, Australia and Antarctica).

Chalcophoropsis monochroma

The genus Chalcophoropsis is closely related to Chrysochroa and other Buprestidae living mostly in India and South East Asia. We know two species, only. 
Chalcophoropsis quadrifoveolata lives in Madagascar. It's typical because females and males have different colours. 
Chalcophoropsis monochroma was recently described from Comores. In this species males and females are of the same colour.

Chalcophoropsis quadrifoveolata


Madecacesta gaudroni female

Polycestinae is an ancient group, and it is known in all regions with several very interesting (and usually quite rare) species, belonging to many different genera. Madecacesta is endemic of Madagascar, and it is of the "Polycesta s.l." group.

Madecacesta gaudroni male

The most typical genus of Buprestidae in Madagascar is Polybothris. It's effectively to be considered a subgenus of the big genus Psiloptera (with species in North and South America, Africa, Middle Orient, India, South East Asia: Thailand to South China). It's closely related to the African species of subgenus Damarsila, and some of the "less evolved" species from Madagascar and Comores are very similar to some African species. But in Madagascar, this group gave and incredible number of species and various and strange forms. They took the places of many other Insects not living in Madagascar. Here we can see how they differentiated in many different forms. Click on images to see several photos of these very strange insects:

Polybothris with naviculaire shapePolybothris with expanded prothoraxPolybothris with flattened and expanded bodyPolybothris with other formsPrimitive Polybothris

Closely related to Polybothris, are also two other genera from Madagascar: Icarina and Lampropepla, with very few species:

Icarina cottae
Lampropepla rotschildi
Lampropepla ophtalmica

Actenodes curvipes
Among Buprestidae of Madagascar, we can find several species of Actenodes. They seem to be more similar to South American species than to African forms.

Actenodes ornaticollis