Metallic Wood-boring Beetle

Agrilus exoletus

a buprestid beetle from Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens

Nairobi, Kenya. December 2014. Length about 5 mm. This male has established a territory on a fallen branch of Fever Tree (Acacia xanthophloea).
The name Agrilus (Duttus) exoletus Obenberger was kindly provided by Gianfranco Curletti.

Fever trees are well known for the copious sap flow that occurs from any wound in the bark. That flow is normally very effective in preventing entry by beetles and other insects. A fallen tree is suddenly free of sap flow and is an immediate resource for wood feeding insects. Male beetles such as this buprestid are quick to establish territories because receptive females are soon to arrive. Buprestids have large eyes to observe others of their kind and also to avoid predators like birds that are also keen to the food sources created when a tree branch falls in the forest. There are thousands of Buprestidae likely to be found in Kenya and many are very colorful and go by common name Jewel Beetles.

Buprestidae (s.f. Agrilinae) -- Metallic Wood-boring Beetle Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 19 June 2015,
updated 29 Dec. 2016.