Chrysochroa fulgidissima

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Chrysochroa fulgidissima
Chrysochroa Fulgidissima (Tamamushi) In Hand.PNG
A "tamamushi" beetle in Iizaka, Japan.
Scientific classification
C. fulgidissima
Binomial name
Chrysochroa fulgidissima
Chrysochroa fulgidissima distribution map.png

Chrysochroa fulgidissima, "jewel beetle" or Yamato tamamushi in Japanese (ヤマトタマムシ) is a metallic woodboring beetle of the family Buprestidae.


Tamamushi Shrine at Hōryū-ji. Its decoration included jewel beetle (Tamamushi) wings.

This beetle is native to Japan and Korea. It is typically found in woods or forests during summer under the strong sunshine and can grow between 30–41 millimetres (1.2–1.6 in) in length.[1]

The Tamamushi Shrine, an Asuka Period miniature shrine located at Hōryū-ji Temple, Nara prefecture, was decorated with lacquer and oil painting on wood, gilt bronze plaques, and with beetlewing work using the iridescent wings of the Chrysochroa fulgidissima beetle.[2]


Since this insect has iridescent wings that glow lengthwise with different colors depending upon the light angle, one cannot be sure exactly which color it is.[3] Therefore, it gave rise to the expression tamamushi-iro (tamamushi color), in reference to a convoluted statement that can be interpreted in more ways than one.[clarification needed]

The term tamamushi-iro is used in the context of Japanese officialdom, when politicians or bureaucrats use language that is ambiguous.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ふしぎがわかる しぜん図鑑 こんちゅう, page 56. Froebel-Kan CO., LTD., 1999
  2. ^ Rowthorn, C.:Japan, page 370. Lonely Planet, 2005
  3. ^ Stavenga, D. G.; Wilts, B. D.; Leertouwer, H. L.; Hariyama, T. (2011). "Polarized iridescence of the multilayered elytra of the Japanese jewel beetle, Chrysochroa fulgidissima". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 366 (1565): 709–723. doi:10.1098/rstb.2010.0197. PMC 3049007. PMID 21282175.
  4. ^ Japanese business language By Mitsubishi Corporation