Dec 062012

Following the accidental introduction of Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) in the mid 1990’s, and its subsequent detection in the Detroit, MI/Windsor, ON area in 2002, jewel beetles (Buprestidae) have become front page news in many communities in eastern North America. As federal, provincial, state and municipal governments initiate jewel beetle monitoring projects to track the expanding range of Emerald Ash Borer, many other species are captured as by-catch, which has subsequently lead to an increased interest in these bold and beautiful beetles.

Luckily, North American buprestid taxonomists have been working diligently with these charismatic & economically important beetles for decades, and have described and classified nearly all the eastern North American fauna. With a solid taxonomic base to build upon and an increasing demand for accessible identification resources, a partnership was formed between the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the University of Guelph Insect Collection and the Invasive Species Centre to create a user-friendly resource for jewel beetle identification. Today, I’m happy to announce the imminent publication of a Field Guide to the Jewel Beetles of Northeastern North America!

Cover of Field Guide to the Jewel Beetles of Northeastern North America

Cover photo of Buprestis rufipes by Ted MacRae

Map of use for the Field Guide to Jewel Beetles

Green – Guide considered comprehensive; Yellow – Majority of fauna included in guide, may require additional resources; Red – Guide not representative of local fauna, be sure to consult additional resources.

This 411 page field guide (6×9″) covers the 164 jewel beetle species known from northeastern North America, and also includes 2 identification keys to the 23 genera in the region: one a technical key adapted from previously published works, and the other a “field key”, designed for use with a hand lens or digital camera and which uses characters that are more easily observed. In addition, we’ve included a short section on collecting, preparing and storing jewel beetles, as well as an illustrated tutorial on how to dissect male genitalia. Fully labelled morphological maps and a glossary of terms that may be found in the primary literature are provided to help non-specialists use both this field guide, and also any other buprestid literature they may need to consult.

Each species in the guide is fully illustrated with high magnification colour photos of the dorsal & ventral habitus, head and male genitalia (plus additional colour morphs or variations where possible), and a review of taxonomic synonyms, ESC & ESA approved common names, and all known larval host plants is provided in addition to thorough morphological diagnoses, characters useful for differentiating similar species, and notes on species abundance, habitat preference and economic importance. On top of all this, we’ve also included a number of other tools and resources to help with species-level identification in the absence of keys. Take a look at the Emerald Ash Borer page to see what to expect throughout:

So how can you get your copy? The Field Guide to the Jewel Beetles of Northeastern North America is now available by calling 1-800-442-2342 UPDATE: Sorry, hard copies are all sold out. PDFs are available here. The CFIA is making this field guide completely FREE. Yes — totally, 100% FREE, including international shipping. This book won’t be available through traditional or online bookstores, so we need your help in spreading the word about it. If you know researchers/naturalists/citizen scientists who may find this field guide useful, please let them know how they can get copies of their own, because we’d love to see the book in the hands of anyone with an interest in natural history and entomology!

If you have any questions about the field guide, please don’t hesitate to ask, either in the comments below or via email, and my co-authors and I hope you enjoy using it as much as we enjoyed creating it!

Example page from Generic Identification Key for Jewel Beetles

Sample key to genera page. All characters used in the key are illustrated with either high magnification photographs or simple illustrations.

Trachys generic spread from Field Guide to Jewel Beetles

Trachys generic page from Field Guide to Jewel Beetles featuring original artwork by scientific illustrator/artist Glendon Mellow.

Buprestis striata species field guide page

Buprestis striata field guide page showing colour variations.

  84 Responses to “Field Guide to the Jewel Beetles (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) of Northeastern North America”

  1. Great work! I will have to buy it…and could have used it today to see whether one was native or not. Maybe I’ll send you – now an expert – a picture.

  2. Oh – now I read the whole post and see it’s free…you could have taken me to the bank Jackson!

  3. I’m anxious as heck to get a copy of this in my hands (well, get a copy that I can keep in my hands!). The Prezi preview is a great tool and really highlights the many useful features of the species guides.

    Once I do get my copy, look for a review shortly afterwards in The Pan-Pacific Entomologist.

    Nice work chaps!

  4. A guide to change the world!
    Step aside Peterson… your era has ended.
    This is now the age of Jackson!

  5. WOW! I had no idea, Morgan. Just awesome.

  6. Wonderful job. Top blog!

  7. Thank you so much for arranging it to be free! I’m sure this will help to spur new interest and resarch (or at least a western north american volume).

  8. I am always looking for sources of taxanomic nature to use with my students. This looks like a winner.

  9. This is amazing! Beautiful guide. I’ve always been a sucker for shiny things.

  10. I am impressed with the artistic skill in reproducing the iridescence of these beetles.
    Amazing work. Thanks for offering it to artists and scientists.

  11. Amazing, I can’t believe that, Is it really true.

  12. I just happened to open up the site and noticed your article. As another contributor said, I could have used it today also.

  13. Received the 3 copies that I had requested, and just want to say thankyou. I knew that if I had one in hand someone in the Kingston Field Naturalists would want one, already handed off one copy to a fellow who is very actively involved in Friends of Lemoine Point, a group that helps plant native trees and does monitoring for the large park on the shore of Lake Ontario. They’re keeping a watchful eye out for emerald ash borers and other invasives, no doubt your guide will be useful. Being in the thick of the woods north of Kingston I now have something to look up some of the beetles that I come across.

  14. I ordered a copy many months ago but still have not received it. Has there been a delay in shipping to the U.S.?

  15. I got my field guide today, it’s beautiful and wonderfully packed with great information. Thank you!

  16. Beautiful book; thanks for producing it and thanks for making it free. You might want to mention on your website that if you call the CFIA, choose option 7.


  17. Not available through the number called listed here….

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