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Glorious green scarab - Chrysina gloriosa

Glorious green scarab - Chrysina gloriosa
Top of Mt Hopkins Road, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, USA
July 26, 2013
Found here during mid-afternoon on juniper, along a trail at about 7000' elevation...not far from the gate at the top of the Mt. Hopkins Road (see map here). Juniper is the food plant of adult Chrysina gloriosa.

These scarabs were relatively common and abundant in the Santa Rita Mnts area during the 2013 Arizona BugGuide gathering...I'd guess everyone saw them at the night lights.

They are often thought of as crepuscular or they're usually seen flying at dusk, or coming to lights after dark. No doubt many become prey to nocturnal creatures like bats and pyrgotid flies, like those below, seen by many at the gathering:

But they can also be diurnal, and while the bright color and markings of the adults can be strikingly conspicuous...especially when seen on a white sheet at lights...they actually provide excellent crypsis when they are resting or feeding on juniper foliage.

Plusiotis gloriosa is a synonym for Chrysina gloriosa, and Frank Young, in his "Notes on the Habits of Plusiotis gloriosa" stated that:

"P. gloriosa spend a considerable part of their time resting and feeding aboveground in the foliage of junipers provided the humidity is high enough. The restriction of aboveground activities to the twilight and night are probably more apparent than real in the wet seasons due to the difficulty of finding the beetles among the juniper foliage in the daytime. If this is so, the brilliant green and silver coloration is camouflage combining color resemblance to the background and disruptive coloration...
The quote above is thoroughly consistent with my image particular, the "silver" stripes often appear black and interrupt the green of the elytra much as the spaces between the foliage do on the juniper bough. And note the moisture on the was the summer monsoon season, and frequent cloud cover and intermittant showers kept the humidity relatively high.

Images of this individual: tag all
Glorious green scarab - Chrysina gloriosa Glorious geen scarab - Chrysina gloriosa Glorious geen scarab - Chrysina gloriosa

Really is
It really is... glorious!

Yes...and quite interesting in other ways too!
I added more (natural history) details and links to my remarks above.

And for even more fascinating details about C. gloriosa, check out the article below on their unusual ability to see and make use of circularly polarized light!

Brady, P. & N. Collins. (2010). Differential response to circularly polarized light by the jewel scarab beetle Chrysina gloriosa. Amer. Naturalist, 175(5) 614:620 (PDF)

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