Hitchhiker

So. I’m working on my laptop when this largish beetle crawls down my sleeve and onto my left hand. I immediately stop typing.

First thought: Is it going to bite?

Second thought: Can I get a picture before it does?

I hold my beetle hand steady, push back my chair, snatch the camera with my other hand and head for the door.

Outside I lower my still unbitten hand to the deck and let the hitchhiker crawl off. It sets out along the deck at a good clip. It’s obviously on a mission and not interested in posing.

Known as jewel beetles or metallic wood-boring beetles, they have been on my I-hope-to-find-one-of-these list for some time. I could hardly believe my good luck that this one had actually found me.

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Larvae of this species — known as flat-head or flatheaded borers — live inside spruce or pine and feed on dead or dying wood. Depending on the species, adult jewel beetles eat leaves, nectar or pollen.

A beautiful bite-free beetle. Come back any time.


Spotted-belly buprestid   Buprestis maculativentris

15 thoughts on “Hitchhiker

    1. I did wonder how big a bite it might take. Having endured horsefly bites (they get 10 out of 10 for insect-induced pain) where you can actually see the hole in your skin I figured this couldn’t be more than 7 or 8. 🙂

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    1. It really is. I didn’t get a good look at the facial markings until I blew the photo up on the laptop. Amazing. Many of the buprestids are stunning in their colours. Not sure if we have any of those but this one will probably be my favourite since it was also the first. 🙂

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  1. A pretty fellow, Sally! And I often find myself reaching for my camera when I am sitting in my writing chair looking out on the woods, hoping that whatever interesting continues long enough for me to photograph it. 🙂 –Curt

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    1. I’d been out in the bush earlier that day which is when I probably picked it up. As I was working at my desk I felt a tickle on my neck but didn’t think much about it. (Guess i was pretty focussed!) A few minutes later this beetle crawled off my sleeve and onto my hand. 🙂

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      1. You may be right! Glad I didn’t inadvertently squash this little beetle. I’m sure I would have noticed it earlier had it crawled down my arm under the shirt rather than on top!

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  2. Hey! So I stumbled on your blog trying to identify a beetle. Something similar happened to me, with it landing on my head. I wrote about it here and I linked to your blog. I had trouble identifying this bugger! https://hollyjessen.com/mystery-beetle-challenges-identification/

    I just wanted to say hi. It looks like we have similar interests, creatures, nature and photography. I just started my blog after being a SAHM for 3.5 years and not writing much. Now I’m working from home part time and a SAHM during a pandemic. Fun times, haha.

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