Monday, February 11, 2013

Buprestis lyrata...

          Well it's time to make a confession: my first post on this blog was about a pretty little Jewel beetle I collected at Shaver Lake; Buprestis lyrata. As it turns out, this was not the right ID at all. The very similar, (at least to my eyes) B. ornata seems to be a better fit. If Rick Wescott hadn't e-mailed me about my over confident ID, I may have never known about this other western species.

Buprestis ornata Walker, 1866

Ventral view

Out of focus view of head, I know. If you take a look at
specimens of B. lyrata, you'll see that these two species
share a very unique feature; the orange and yellow
markings on the it's face and front angles of it's pronotum.
This shared feature is what caused me to think B. lyrata.

 I have plenty of trust in Rick's judgment because he seems to have an assertive confidence that really stands out: "Buprestis lyrata just does not come with a metallic sheen; and the specimen you depicted is the wrong shape.  That one is more compact, the character of B. subornata.  Take a look in the museum next time you are there." As stated above, he has identified Buprestis species for the very museum I hung around in Utah. I remember browsing through the very drawers of specimens, some of which, has his name on the ID label. Thank you Rick for the correction!
 
During our brief conversation, we discovered that we are both friends of Shawn Clark and that he is the famous "Buprestis Hunter" that Shawn has told me a fair bit about. Small world... the entomological world, that is. I hope that I will have more luck finding awesome Jewels, like this one, this spring. It would be nice to collect with Rick, as I'm sure he could give me some useful collecting pointers.


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