Blue Metallic Beetles

15 September 1998

Here are two photos of some exquisite, deep blue, very shiny beetles my friend and I found in a particular kind of vegetation, a few km. north of the Darby River mouth, on the north-west coast of Wilson's Promontory (the southernmost point on the Australian Mainland).  They are no more than 6mm (1/4") long.  I have previously seen larger metallic beetles, such as "Christmas" beetles which appear in summer.  Christmas beetles are generally gold and green and can be over half and inch long.  I once stuck one upside down and viewed its scrambling legs with my stereo microscope (~ 7x).  It was the most graphic, robotic, colourful sight I have ever seen.  These blue beetles would have been great under the microscope, and they were plentiful where we found them, but it didn't occur to us to take any home.  It is a National Park, so we shouldn't have taken them anyway.


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