Also known as Red-legged Buprestis
(Click for a closer look)
This one was walking down the trail and allowed me to get one photograph, then took off like a giant helicopter and vanished. It really did look like a jewel. Beautiful. I believe this is the only one I have ever seen.
Buprestidae is a family of beetles, known as jewel beetles or metallic wood-boring beetles because of their glossy iridescent colors. The family is among the largest of the beetles, with some 15,000 species known in 450 genera. The larger and more spectacularly colored jewel beetles are highly prized by insect collectors.
The shape is generally cylindrical or elongate to ovoid, with lengths ranging from 3 mm to an impressive 100 mm, although most species are under 20 mm. A variety of bright colors are known, often in complicated patterns. The iridescence common to these beetles is not due to pigments in the exoskeleton, but instead physical iridescence in which microscopic texture in their cuticle selectively reflects specific frequencies of light in particular directions. This is the same effect that makes a compact disc reflect multiple colors.
The larvae bore through roots, logs, stems, and leaves of various types of plants, ranging from trees to grasses. The wood boring types generally favor dying or dead branches on otherwise-healthy trees, while a few types attack green wood; some of these are serious pests capable of killing trees and causing major economic damage.
Larval Hosts: Members of this genus bore into such trees as:
Fagus - Beech
Acer - Maple
Quercus - Oak
Not recorded in very many counties in
This one was photographed last June at the
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