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.
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