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cool bug
cool bug  

cool bug 2
cool bug 2  
Normally I would not inquire about a bug online, but this one I have never seen before.  We are experiencing our 17 year cicada outbreak in Stafford County, VA so when a flying bug hit me in the back yard I expected to see a red-eyed cicada in the grass.  Instead, I saw what look like a nut, kind of football shaped, and when i turned it over, I wasn't even sure it was a bug.  It had a metallic gold (I mean EXACTLY like gold jewelry in color) underside and all of its legs were pulled in (like a turtle).  Looking at some bug guides on line, my guess would be that it was a metallic wood-boring beetle, but none of the pictures looked like this little guy.  I got a couple pictures with my iPhone before it flew away.  Sadly, the pics are not great.  It was about an inch long...not much bigger than that.  My question:

What kind of insect is this exactly, and are they common to northeastern Virginia?


Those aren't bad images, thank you for including them.

This is a "Hardwood Heartwood Borer," Texania campestris .  Here's more about them:

They are common, but fleeting and localized so most folks don't even know they exist.  I came across an emergence in Cincinnati one day when I lived there, and they were everywhere in about a one block area in a forest opening where there had been a blowdown a couple years earlier.  Never saw them again.  Most of the Buprestidae are like that, at least the larger and more colorful species.

Thanks for sharing, this is a neat species!


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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