Is it a jewel beetle
October 9, 2009
The Beetle Picture i took from SNGP Forest Area. First time i am saw the
beautiful insect. Pl. let me me know the id ?
Hari Iyer
Yeeor, Thane, Maharashtra, India.

Unknown Jewel Beetle from India

Jewel Beetle from India

Hi Hari Iyer,
Yes, this is a Jewel Beetle, one of the common names for a Metallic Wood Boring Beetle in the family Buprestidae.  We will see if one of our readers is able to find the exact species name for you.

Ed Note: Thanks to Karl for providing a comment identifying the genus as Sternocera, and providing several links with confirmation imagery.

14 Responses to Jewel Beetle from India: genus Sternocera

  1. kkroeker says:

    Hi Hari Iyer:

    This looks like a Jewel Beetle (Buprestidae) in the genus Sternocera. There are at least four species in India that look very similar to the one in your photo (S. chrysis, S. basalis, S. orientalis and marseuli), and there may be more. For comparison you can check out: or Regards. K

  2. kp says:

    Back in the 60’s in India we used to gently capture this ‘gold bee’ as we called it back then, and have it sit on our hands. It is surprisingly docile and does not try to escape. All you got to do is to pat it on its hard brown wing case, and it would settle down nicely for next 10 minutes of so. We would let it fly off after an hour or so. It is simply beautiful!

  3. vishnu manoharan says:

    This Beetle is called Jewel Beetle (Sternocera chrysis chrysis)

  4. Kunal says:

    where r u from coz we used to call “son pakharu” ( Gold bee) only…me and my cousins used to visit our farm which is in yeotmal district maharashtra where we used to capture these and feed them.

  5. Jaisigh says:

    This jewel beetle ( pin vanndu in Tamil) was quite common in the 1960s in Madras and a popular pet among young boys those days. It was available for a few rupees from from other boys who dared to climb the thorny kodukaapalli trees to catch them and sell.
    Now a days I don’t see these golden beetles any where around Chennai which were once so common in the St. Thomas Mount area. Are these extinct or moved out of this area?

    I dont

    • bugman says:

      Since information on species from India is not really readily available, we cannot say if they are extinct or absent from the area.

  6. Siddharth says:

    Experienced this beautiful bug in new Delhi this week. It is surprisingly docile. Its been in my garden since two days now.

  7. Jaisingh Gnanaiah says:

    Glad to know that the beautiful golden bee (pon vandu) has been spotted in Maharashtra and Delhi. Unfortunately, I don’t see any of them in St. Thomas Mount, Chennai; where there were plenty of them in the 60s.
    There also used to be two more variations of this bee. One had a shiney black head and the other with a shiney orange head.

  8. SELVARAJ J says:

    Everybody commented on Different Important Details.
    But forgot to share more interesting Detail that the “Borangi” what we used to call in North-Karnataka lays Different Coloured Eggs, which we used to Collect it in Match-Boxes by feeding them with tiny leaves of “Kare-Jali” Tree.

  9. Sanjay D Pawar says:

    Jweel bettal seen comanly amravati & akola district, Maharashtra,on acasia plant but not seen back 15 years

  10. Fasiuddin says:

    In Mahboobnagar district of Telangana Stage, India, we call it Bing’gana, It was favorite of Kids. It gives different colour eggs. It was the proud moment for us as a teen to keep them in Pocket (keeping them inside Matchbox with some leafs). We could fly them by putting cotton thread knot on their neck without hurting them.,,,, Those were amazing days in 1980s,,, BUT I DONT FIND THEM IN FOREST OR VILLAGES BECAUSE OF PESTICIDES.

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