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metallic wood borer - Dicerca pugionata

metallic wood borer - Dicerca pugionata
Harvard, Worcester County, Massachusetts, USA
April 30, 2005

Images of this individual: tag all
metallic wood borer - Dicerca pugionata metallic wood borer - Dicerca pugionata

ID from
specimen sent to Joshua Basham.

Who is Joshua Basham? I searched the web but didn't find an entomologist by that name. What experience does this person have in identifying species of buprestids?

In a note he wrote to me it s
In a note he wrote to me it says he works on buprestids for TSU, and and is looking for specimens outside that area. If you want his email, I can supply that. This ID was made on a comparison of a specimen in the TSU collection.

image search
Thanks Tom. I ask because in searching for an ID of my photo (which has pale spots on a dark background, like yours), the only image of D. divaricata I could find was on this page and it showed dark spots/streaks on a light gold background, so I dismissed it. Another photo on the page previous to that one looked like a closer match but not a "dead ringer" so I'm wondering how much variation there is among individuals, and whether species ID is possible/reliable by simply eyeballing specimens. If you or anyone knows any characteristics that visually distinguish Dicerca species, that would be good info to add to the Guide for future reference.

New ID
Robin, I just got word from Joshua Basham that he sent this specimen to Rick Westcott, and Rick ID'd it as D. pugionota. I googled up Rick Westcott, and he's in several pages for buprestid research.

species spelling
I could only find a D. pugionata on the web; no photos, just a name appearing in lists. Maybe Rick or someone could describe the distinguishing characters of this species... that would be good info to add to BugGuide for future reference.

...from most eastern North American species of Dicerca by the elytral apices both distinctly prolonged and strongly bidentate. Other species in the area with prolonged apices have the tips truncate, unidentate at the suture or only weakly bidentate, and those with distinctly bidentate apices are not nearly so distinctly produced.

To the experienced, this and other species of Dicerca can be recognized in the field by gestalt, especially in combination with host plant. In this case, the species is on the smallish side and has a brilliant dark coppery color with a distinct pattern of white spotting.

See MacRae (1991) for key to species in Missouri (which is good for most species in the eastern U.S.).

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