It’s Not Easy Being Blue

a metallic blue jewel beetle

The shiny metallic coat of this buprestid beetle belies the groups common name of “jewel beetles.”

I started freaking out a bit, when I realized the (mostly dead) ash trees we had cut down the other day had these critters dispersed in the surrounding brush. I should definitely know better how to identify the Emerald Ash Borer, but it never even crossed my mind until today when I saw some test boxes for the EAB menace at Clarksburg State Park. Anyway, to my relief, these blue critters (would seem a little silly for an “emerald” bug to be blue, although there is enough variation in certain insect and arthropod species that I didn’t think it was totally out of the question) appear to be Agrilus cyanescens. For the record this individual was shot not in the backyard but at Natural Bridge State Park.

Also, regarding the glare on our shiny little friend: the sun was kind of darting in and out behind the clouds. This shot had the best focus so I went with it.

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