The island of San Pietro is the only place in the world where this small and rare beetle can be found. Unlike other cicindele, the Cicindela campestris saphyrina has a bright livery of a distinctive electric blue color, tending toward violet, and speckled with just a few yellowish white dots. This Cicindela is considered by all entomologists and enthusiasts to be the most beautiful of the 17 species of Cicindela in Italy. Like all cicindele, the saphyrina has a large head with big, bulging eyes and strong jaws. Males are slightly smaller than the females.  Another difference between the female and male, is that on the female’s forewings there is a black mark (one on each forewing), that is absent in the male.

This beautiful endemic species was discovered in 1836 by the director of the zoological museum in Turin, Carlo Giuseppe Gene (the same scholar who studied and classified the Eleonora’s Falcon).  Numerous researchers and lovers of entomology have come to the island to search for this unusual insect, and among them was one of the greatest German writers of the twentieth century, Ernest Jünger.  In his many stays on the island (he spent parts of his vacation here for nine years), he was never able to find the saphyrina beetle but nevertheless recorded his impressions of Carloforte and the island in admiring prose.

Link to Article - Cicindela, THE RARE BEETLE

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