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Jewel beetle (Buprestis rufipes)


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A couple of photos of a Buprestis rufipes that I came across in my yard today.  I've only ever seen a few of these, and for a US native jewel beetle species, it's a pretty good-sized one, at between 25-30 mm.



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Can you raise these beetles?

The larvae of Buprestis rufipes develop under the bark of a variety of hardwoods (but only in trees which have already been dead for some time).  I've found them in association with dead cottonwood, elm, and oak.  So, if you happened to find a section of dead branch that had a larva living in it, you could place it in a container and wait for the adult to eventually emerge.  As for actually getting the beetles to reproduce in captivity - I don't think I've ever heard of anyone managing to do this with buprestids.  Certainly though, there are many beautiful species that would be well worthwhile to breed (such as Lampetis drummondi, which is found mainly in the US southwest).  Even though adult buprestids are similar to click beetles in shape, their larvae, interestingly, are cerambyciform (like those of longhorn beetles) instead of elateriform.

In my opinion, they're the prettiest of all beetles.

Yes, quite so for a native US species, although they kind of pale in comparison to many of the much larger tropical forms such as CalodemaChrysochroa, Megaloxantha, Sternocera and Euchroma.

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