Insect identification > Coleoptera > True Coleoptera > Flat-headed borers

Flat-headed borers


Family Buprestidae (flat-headed borers). - This group of beetles contains many forms which injure trees by boring in their trunks. Others attack berry canes which often show swellings as a result. A few are leaf miners or gall makers.

The adults are generally stout, robust beetles with heads set into the thorax, rather flat backs, and in general dark colored but with a metallic luster, though a few are bright green or of other colors. The larvae, which bore in trees, are white except for a small yellowish head and have a large flattened prothorax and no legs.

They burrow at first just under the bark in the sapwood and later in the heartwood. The average life history requires about a year for its completion, but if the tree be vigorous the larva is liable either to die or be delayed in its development. The adults are fond of the sun and fly freely in the daytime. They are often found on flowers.

Several hundred species are known in the United States, all of them injurious, the damage they do being largely dependent upon the importance of the tree or plant they attack.