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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Family Buprestidae - Metallic Wood-boring Beetles

We thought our green bup from Diamond Lake was big... - Buprestis lyrata - female Is this buprestidae? - Acmaeodera mixta Chrysobothris Jewel Beetle Agrilus spec. - Agrilus cyanescens Agrilus pulchellus - male Acmaeodera sp. - Acmaeodera pletura Soapberry Borer - Agrilus prionurus? - Agrilus Buprestis rufipes
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga
No Taxon (Series Elateriformia)
Superfamily Buprestoidea
Family Buprestidae (Metallic Wood-boring Beetles)
Other Common Names
Jewel Beetles, Flat-head Borers
Explanation of Names
Buprestidae Leach 1815
>760 spp. in 55 genera in our area, almost 15,000 spp. worldwide(1)(2)
Overview of our fauna* –taxa not yet in the guide; classification adapted from(3)(4)(5); taxa between tribe and genus omitted):
Incertae sedis Beerellus
Tribe Xenorhipidini Subtribe Xenorhipidina: Hesperorhipis · XenorhipisSubtribe Trichinorhipidina: Trichinorhipis
guides/keys: ne. NA(6) · Canada(7) · Missouri(8) · Texas(9) · South Carolina(5)
Life Cycle
usually 1-2 years but in certain species it takes many years.(10) Larvae burrow through roots and logs, from within the bark to within the cambium layers, or are leaf/stem miners of herbaceous and woody plants, including grasses. Most of the wood-boring species attack dying trees or dying/dead branches on healthy trees, only a few bore into green wood. Some produce galls on alder, roses, blue beech, ironwood, and hazelnut; a few live in pine cones or herbaceous plants.(1)
A characteristic of their mines is they are packed tightly with layers of sawdust-like borings and pellets; their walls are scarred with fine, transverse lines.(10)
Print References
Works Cited
1.American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea
Arnett, R.H., Jr., M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley and J. H. Frank. (eds.). 2002. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
2.A catalog and bibliography of the Buprestoidea of America north of Mexico.
Nelson et al. 2008. The Coleopterists Society, Special Publication No. 4. 274 pp.
3.An illustrated summary of the higher classification of the superfamily Buprestoidea (Coleoptera)
C.L. Bellamy. 2003. Folia Heyrovskyana Supplement 10: 197 pp.; 44 color plates with 454 photographs.
4.Bellamy C.L. (2013) The world of jewel beetles: A checklist of world Buprestoidea
5.Jewel Beetles (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) of South Carolina
Harpootlian, P.J. and C.L. Bellamy. 2014. Clemson University.
6.Field Guide to the Jewel Beetles (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) of Northeastern North America.
Paiero et al. 2012. Canadian Food Inspection Agency. 411 pp.
7.The metallic wood-boring beetles of Canada and Alaska: Coleoptera: Buprestidae (The Insects and arachnids of Canada)
Donald E. Bright. 1987. Biosystematics Research Centre, Research Branch, Agriculture Canada.
8.The Buprestidae (Coleoptera) of Missouri
MacRae T.C. 1991. Insecta Mundi 5(2): 101-126.
9.Quinn M.A. (2012) Buprestidae of Texas with notes on Texas types
10.Eastern Forest Insects
Whiteford L. Baker. 1972. U.S. Department of Agriculture · Forest Service.
11.Jewels on the go: exotic buprestids around the world (Coleoptera, Buprestidae)
Ruzzier E., Haack R.A., Curletti G., Roques A., Volkovitsh M.G., Battisti A. 2023. NeoBiota 84: 107‒135.