Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Meet the Beetles

Pacific Science Center’s Insect Village has some new residents. Come visit the Jewel Scarab Beetles and Sunburst Diving Beetles soon. You’ll be in for a treat!

Sunburst Diving Beetle (Thermonectus mamoratus)

With bright yellow spotting on their black carapaces, these water beetles have been called “living fireworks.” Their sleek bodies allow them to glide through the water with great ease. However, they also possess wings and use them to fly to new water sources when their pond or puddle dries up.

Also known as Spotted Diving beetles, they’re naturally found in southwestern United States and Mexico and eat mosquito larvae and pupae other small invertebrates.

Jewel Scarab Beetle (Chrysene glorisa)

This species is also commonly called the Glorious Beetle. Can you see why? Scientists are so impressed with the unique color of this insect that some are actually investigating the biological factors that make their carapaces so shiny. Results from their research could, among other things, help scientists to develop safer, and more reflective paint for cars and bicycles.

Also found in the southwestern United States and Mexico, these beetles live on juniper as adults. Their green coloring provides them with camouflage as they rest between the tree’s needles. As larvae, they prefer to hide out in rotting oak and sycamore wood.

Due to the short life span of both of these beetles, we fear that neither species will be here long. So check them out before they're gone.


  1. "Due to the short life span of both of these beetles, we fear that neither species will be here long."

    Is it illegal to breed them?

  2. Hi. To answer the question, yes,our permits do allow us to breed both of these beetles. However, even if we are able to get them breeding, the larvae and pupae need different food and care, and would be going through those stages of the life cycle off exhibit. The adults, the only showy stage, have a fairly brief life. So at best we could have them around every summer.

    Although less spectacular, the blue death feigning beetles that share the cage with the jeweled scarabs spend years as adults, and appear very comfortable on exhibit. We enjoy having their more colorful relatives, but we also hope you take a moment to appreciate the less glamorous members of the band.

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