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BUPRESTIDAE (excluding Schizopodidae)

Common names

metallic wood boring beetles, jewel beetles, flat-headed wood borers, or short-horned wood borers

General distribution


Component taxa

510 genera and 14689 species


Adult: In general, body cylindrical to flattened, elongate-ovoid, transversely convex above and below, or cuneiform; body compact with head deflected, resting on prosternum and retracted into prothorax; elytra entire, or nearly covering abdomen; legs of moderate length, sometimes retractable into depressions on ventrites. Size from 2-75mm or more in length, but usually <20mm. Integument often iridescent reflecting a wide-range of color; otherwise dark-colored with pigment colors in patterns of spots, fasciae or vittae. Surface sculpture varied, often punctate or rugose; vestiture either absent, setose or rarely with flattened squamous-setae. Antennae mostly serrate, but sometimes flabellate or pectinate, mostly with 11 antennomeres, rarely with 10. Mandibles small, recurved, acute apically. Hindwing with three-branched second anal vein (2A), often with wedge cell present. Procoxae small, not contiguous, cavities open behind; mesocoxae flat, separate and metacoxae large, transverse. Abdomen with five visible ventrites, first two connate.

Larva: Body mostly long, slender, subcylindrical, or enlarged, segments flattened, or oval, deeply notched and tapering posteriorly; mostly prognathous. Size from 5-80mm or more; vestiture usually absent; color cream to near white, sometimes with yellow, orange or brown pigmented spots. Head small, depressed, more or less retracted into prothorax. Antennae 2- or 3-segmented with big cone-like sensory appendage. Thorax without legs, or with vestiges; prothorax dorsally with a distinct single, double, Y-, or V-shaped groove or sclerotized plates; ventrally with single groove. Abdomen usually ten-segmented, often with two fleshy apical lobes; sometimes with tenth segment terminating in a pair of sharp, sclerotized, toothed or forceps-like fixed urogomphi. Spiracles cribriform, usually crescent-shaped, on mesothorax and abdominal segments I-VIII.

Pest information

In North America the major pest currently is the emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, introduced from eastern Asia and causing wide-spread damage to native Fraxinus spp. in the north-central U.S. (Ohio, Michigan) and adjacent Canada (Ontario). Other pestiferous species include the bronze birch borer, Agrilus anxius Gory, the flatheaded apple tree borer, Chrysobothris femorata (Olivier), the Pacific flathead borer, Chrysobothris mali Horn and the western cedar pole borer, Trachykele blondeli Marseul.


Key player modified February 2018
Content last modified: February 4, 2011