Habitat: northern Iraq, Syria, northern Iran, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Russia
Status: No Conservation Concerns
These Splendid Scarabs (Protaetia speciosa jousselini) are the most breathtakingly beautiful insects I think I’ve ever seen. Well, the Sunset Moth is a close contender as well.
These beetles reach lengths of 23–30 millimetres, which, as you can imagine, make these living jewels quite tiny. Have you guys ever heard of Queensland Opals before? It’s a type of boulder opal mined in Paroo Shire in South West Queensland, Australia and it’s probably the most incredible stone on the planet. It looks like Unicorn poop. Straight up magical. unicorn. poop.
The reason why I’m bringing this up, is that the opal matrix running through the stone, as shown above, looks just like these magnificent Splendid Scarabs when it’s taken out of the rock. I’ve made a little side-by-side comparison of the two to illustrate exactly what I mean: