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Can anyone identify this beetle? It has a green head and thorax, and its wings are tan or brown with a blotchy black stripe between them. Underside is also an iridescent green. It's about an inch long. It's fairly active and was trying to fly through the window glass of the outdoor structure where I work. Initially was seeking the escape/light more than the leftover bit of orange I put in the bottom of the glass over top it right now, but settling down a bit now that it's found some water to drink.

Long beetle with green head and tan wings with a black splotch down the middle

We do a lot of gardening, berry bushes, fruit trees etc. and are in a region with a lot of commercial orchards as well so I like to identify unknown insects like this before I "encourage" them.

What is this insect? Are there any pest/invasiveness concerns with it in Eastern Washington state?

  • I've now posted this to bugguide.net/node/view/1683267 as well. My current best guess is that it's somewhere within the Buprestoidea ("metallic wood-boring beetles") family. – natevw Jun 28 '19 at 20:02
  • Buprestoidea I agree! My goodness, the incredible diversity in coloring..I swear, I am going to come back to be an entomologist...so what do you think for his orchard? I have a feeling there are beneficials in place to control this guy. – stormy Jun 28 '19 at 20:20
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A user on Bug Guide has classified my submission as a Buprestis viridisuturalis which seems like a good match based on both appearance and distribution.

I cannot find much further details readily available online about this specific species, which I take to be a good sign.

While some related beetles (most infamously the Emerald ash borer) do appear to be problematic, the Wikipedia page for the Buprestidae family says:

The wood boring types generally favor dying or dead branches on otherwise-healthy trees

A 1926 publication "The Buprestidae of North America, exclusive of Mexico" lists on page 128 known hosts of:

Black cottonwood, Oregon alder, cottonwood, Fremont poplar, and Alnus rhombifolia

…none of which are particularly threatened or commercially important trees in the area as far as I know.

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I have to tell you about WSU as the HOST for Washington States' Cooperative Extension Service. These will be your best friends. They know the locality, the normal problem insects, they are totally into IPM, I know this group of people very well and they are the ones to turn to...you can take samples in to them, you can get soil tests, you can get experts to come out to your property and EYEBALL your problem. Free to very inexpensive!!

  • Thanks. I have only seen this one and it wasn't on any plants when I found it so I'm not super worried at this point. Glad to hear there are IPM people at WSU though, I don't like to just spray poison whenever I see something alive. – natevw Jun 28 '19 at 20:30
  • Yay, nate! If you know the basics you will NEVER need pesticides. You will love this group of people. They also do the pesticide licensing! They teach the landscapers, most Mexican, how to NOT need to use pesticides. Very cool organization. They certify Master Gardeners (I've done this one 3 X just to continue staying up on information), Master Composters, Master Preservers and Master Pruners...not free anymore but completely affordable and most is now done on the internet. They still have 1X per week classes hands on...field trips...lasts 2 months? Best way to get the basics down! – stormy Jun 28 '19 at 21:08

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