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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/What kind of beetle bit me?

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Question
Bug that bit me
Bug that bit me  
Hi,
I live in Florida and today I felt something bite me in my shirt. I looked and found this dark brown (beetle?) bug with gold spots on it. I was wondering if you could tell me what it is called. When I took the picture it looks purple and green but it's actually dark brown, possibly black with gold spots. The gold looks almost like someone painted real gold on it. It bit my hip and it didn't leave a mark or anything but I'm just curious as to what it is called.
Thanks :)

Answer
Dear Shelby - This appears to be Actenodes auronotata, a metallic wood-boring beetle (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) - see http://tinyurl.com/mg8xd5o for an image. They have very strong jaws (as you likely noticed) that they use for chewing into the wood where they lay their eggs. Their bite is of no consequence to humans.

Hope this helps,
Saugy

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad

Expertise

Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.

Experience

21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Organizations
Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

Publications
American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

Education/Credentials
B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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