Flatheaded Metallic Wood Borer

2013 February 2

I have posted pictures of beetles that are closely-related to this one (and maybe even the same species) twice before, but it is such a striking beetle that I just can’t resist photographing it again. This is one that landed on Sandy while she was doing the first lawn-mowing of the season on May 28, 2012.

It is another Flatheaded Metallic Wood Borer in the genus Dicerca[1], and is most likely the Flatheaded Poplar Borer Dicerca tenebrica.

And if you are thinking, “That beetle doesn’t look so flat-headed to me!”, that’s because the “flatheaded” in its name refers to the shape of the larva’s head, not the adult’s.

The metallic sheen is particularly strong on the underside. I really have no idea what function the metallic color may have on this beetle’s life (if it is a warning color, it seems odd that it is strongest on the underside, where a predator won’t see it), but it certainly is pretty.

Comparing it to my fingertip, you can see that it is pretty decent size for a beetle. Looking closer at the face, we can also see that it is pretty intricately sculptured.

The larvae eat wood, but I’m not finding anything that says what the adults eat. Probably pollen and nectar, but I could be wrong on that. The mouthparts are what you would expect for something that ate pollen and nectar, though – not too pronounced, and not really suited for eating much else.

So, that said, I’d just like to reiterate my reason for posting this beetle species again:


[1] The last time I posted this, I misspelled the genus name as “Dicera”[2]. Which made it hard when I then tried searching on this name, and found nothing. It’s “Dicerca”, with two “c”s.

[2] The other postings aren’t misspelled any more – I just went back and fixed them.

3 Responses
  1. February 10, 2013

    Sorry for my lack of visits! It’s been quite a couple of weeks within the Feline Theocracy. I’m just getting a chance to click around a little right now and it’s too cold here in the Catican to stay long.

    Cool coppery bug! I love the colors on it. It reminds me of a WW I biplane model I once built where I had to paint some of the engine parts copper.

    There. That’s as deep as I can go right now. I miss stopping by and checking out your great work. Take care, amigo.

  2. February 14, 2013

    That’s fine, I don’t really expect people to keep up with insect blogs as much in the dead of winter as during the times when there are actually insects about.

  3. Meg French permalink
    June 14, 2016

    Cool beetle! I am a horticulturist and a landscape designer.
    I am up in Maine with my mom planting flowers in the family cemeteries and had one of these babies land on my leg! Having been in the biz for 30 years in Virginia, I’ve never seen one before!
    Thanks for Id’ing it for me. It was very pretty!

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