September 6, 2010 5:07 pm
I came across this (dead) little fellow in Egypt last year. Can you help me identify it?
This is a Metallic Borer Beetle in the family Buprestidae. They are sometimes called Jewel Beetles and that common name is very evident considering the beauty of your specimen. It has amazing antennae. Thanks to your critical focus, the detail of your photo is wonderful, down to your fingerprints. We hope to be able to identify this species for you, and it shouldn’t be too difficult considering the amazing coloration and the unique antennae. This is the kind of identification we have come to depend upon Karl to provide for us. After writing that, we did a web search of Buprestidae and Egypt and we located the Coleoptera Buprestidae photographed in Nature web page and an image of Steraspis speciosa photographed by J.C.Ringenbach in Libya on Acacia. This photo and this photo both look very similar to your Jewel Beetle.
These might be of use to Karl for further identification (see attached).
//craig in peru
Thanks for sending additional images Craig.
Karl supplies an update
September 8, 2010
I can’t add much, Daniel, but here is a little more information. I think you are right with the genus, Steraspis (Buprestidae: Chrysochroinae), but there are several species within that genus that look quite close to the one in the post. Considering some differences in the appearance of the head, pronotum and particularly the orange/bronzy margin along the edge of the elytra I think the species is more likely S. squamosa. There is a downloadable online paper on the revision of the genus Steraspis by Gianfranco Curletti (2009) that provides an identification key and photos of all the species. I couldn’t follow the key precisely because not all of the relevant features are visible in the posted photo, but it did seem to lead me to S. squamosa. You can also compare these photos of S. speciosa and S. squamosa, provided by J.C.Ringenbach on another site. Lastly, I found another photo of S. squamosa from Israel that also looks pretty much identical to the one in the posting. It is a very handsome beetle. Regards. Karl P.S. Thanks Craig. I checked the WTB site one more time before sending and discovered your additional and very useful pictures. I am sticking with S. squamosa. If you want to check out the report I mentioned you can find it here. Most of it is in Italian unfortunately, but the identification key is provided in English. K
As always Karl, your input and research is greatly appreciated. The link you supplied for S. speciosa is broken. Can you please resend that link?