Unknown Beetle
Location: Big Bend National Park, Texas
October 8, 2011 12:22 pm
Thanks for ID-ing those Bordered Plant Bug nymphs for me. Got another one for you…
I’m pretty sure this one is a beetle 🙂 He was feeding on this Aster, not sure what species.
Signature: JB

Jewel Beetle

Hi JB,
This is one of the Metallic Borer Beetles in the family Buprestidae, a group commonly called Jewel Beetles because of the bright colors of the elytra.  Jewel Beetles have been used in jewelry and in Victorian art.  We believe we have narrowed your individual down to a member of the genus Acmaeodera which is represented on BugGuide by about 80 different species, many of which look very much like one another and like your individual.  BugGuide also notes:  “144 spp. in our area (4), great many more in the Old World.”  We believe we have narrowed the possibilities down to two likely species, but we cannot be certain as we do not have the area of specificity nor do we have any entomological credentials.  BugGuide has several photos of Acmaeodera amplicollis, including some with beetles feeding on very similar flowers, and they are reported from Arizona and New Mexico.  Another possibility represented on BugGuide is
Acmaeodera decipiens which is also reported from Arizona and New Mexico.  The similar looking Acmaeodera diffusa is reported on BugGuide from Colorado and Utah.

Location: Texas

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