Jewel scarab

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Jewel scarabs
Chrysinasp..JPG
Chrysina sp. Ex coll. Felix Stumpe
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Scarabaeidae
Subfamily: Rutelinae
Tribe: Rutelini
Genus: Chrysina
Kirby, 1828
Species

Chrysina beyeri
Chrysina gloriosa
Chrysina lecontei
Chrysina woodi
About 100 more, several unnamed

The Ruteline genus Chrysina, or jewel scarabs (not to be confused with jewel beetles which are a different family), is a large genus of brightly colored, often metallic iridescent species, ranging from the southwestern edge of the United States as far south as Ecuador. The genus includes all the species formerly known as Plusiotis. They are typically between 15-35mm in length, and are nocturnal in habits, coming readily to lights. The larvae live in rotting logs, while the adults commonly feed on foliage; they tend to be found in pine, juniper, or pine-oak forests, most commonly between 1000-3000m elevation. They are most diverse in countries such as Honduras, where as many as 15 species can be found in a single location. There are only 4 species which occur in the United States (see taxobox).

These beetles are very popular among collectors; many species are polymorphic, with rare color variants that can command high prices. One such specimen was featured on the cover of National Geographic Magazine (see Jewel Scarabs at Nationalgeographic.com). The majority of species are bright green, but metallic silver and gold are also common colors, and may be combined with green as in the common Chrysina gloriosa from the Madrean sky islands region.

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