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bluish beetle - Melanophila

bluish beetle - Melanophila
Everglades City, Collier County, Florida, USA
March 23, 2007
Size: about 12 mm
on wall at night

Moved from Melanophila notata.

Melanophila notata

Yes, Buprestidae...
... a species of Melanophila (either M. acuminata or M. notata).

Thanks, Ted
That narrows it down greatly.

This page shows only those 2 species of Melanophila in Florida. M. notata (which has spotted and unspotted forms) has been recorded in 10 counties, including Collier County, whereas the presence of M. acuminata in Florida is described as "highly unlikely" by Charles Bellamy, so I guess notata wins by default in this case.

Not so fast...
Another possibility is M. atropurpurea, which I have reared from cypress at Okefenokee Swamp. Many past records of M. acuminata and M. notata actually refer to this species - Rick Westcott is trying to clear up things. The photo doesn't show the surface sculpture and elytral apices well enough to make an ID - I think you'll need to leave it at Melanophila sp. for now.

Okay, thanks Ted.
Do you have more info on the characters that differentiate atropurpurea from acuminata? A PDF doc here treats the two species as synonymous, so I suspect they're difficult to distinguish.

I'm thinking it would be helpful to have info such as this on the species and genus pages for future reference.

In the material I have on hand...
...the elytral apices of M. atropurpurea are produced into a distinct, acuminate tooth - those of M. acuminata are acutely angled but not distinctly produced. Also, the lateral pronotal reticulations of M. atropurpurea form distinct longitudinal patterns - those of M. acuminata do not.

M. notata usually exhibits yellow elytral markings, but immaculate individuals do occur - they can be distinguished from the usually immaculate M. acuminata and M. atropurpurea by their narrowly rounded elytral apices and more coarsely granulate elytral surface sculpture.

very good, thanks
I've added some notes to the M. notata page.

Okay, thanks; moved from ID Request to Buprestidae for now.

Definitely not your average beetle
I don't really know what this is... maybe Buprespidae... Pretty sure it's not a Carabid, Tenebrionid, Cerambycid, Cantharid... or any of the more common families.. the abdomen shape and the shape of the elytra look like that of Buprespid

I agree, Buprespid....
I mean BupresTid:-) I have occasionally (rarely) found bups at lights, so I'm not entirely surprised....

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