85 New Species of Jewel-like Beetles Discovered

Posted on October 16, 2013

Baconia carinifrons

85 new species of jewel-like beetles have been discovered. The beetles are in the genus Baconia. They were discovered through studies of museum collections and fieldwork by Michael Caterino and Alexey Tishechkin of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Baconia carinifrons, a beetle with a vibrant blue color and metallic shine is pictured above. The dual colored Baconia katieae species is pictured below.

Michael Caterino, lead author of the study, says in a release, "Although the genus Baconia was originally named in honor of Francis Bacon the Elizabethan philosopher, Francis Bacon the experimental artist would also be a fitting namesake for these fantastic beetles."

Baconia katieae

Caterino also says, "Even beetle specialists are amazed by the fantastic colors of Baconia. In natural history terms, the species of Baconia aren't very different from several other groups of clown beetles with similar habits, but much duller coloration."

The scientists report that the species are believed to stalk and eat wood-boring beetles and their larvae. The research was part of a large scale study of clown beetle diversity, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

The research was reported here in the journal ZooKeys.

Photos: Michael S. Caterino

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