Goldsmith Beetle

By William T. Hathaway

Goldsmith Beetle (Chrysochus auratus)

Because of its colorful reflections that are brilliantly shining, “Goldsmith Beetle” seems to be an appropriate name for this species.

Its iridescent red, blue, and green colors are often combined to produce a mirrored flash of gold; these resplendent colors depend on the angle of light from your eye and the beetle — colors change as your angle of vision changes.

I photographed this beetle as one of many that were present in large numbers on a local milkweed plant. Of all the possible colors, the little insect (8-11mm long) turned out to be green, and my computer was able to increase the magnification.


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