Beetles in Costa Rica

We saw lots of really cool bugs in Costa Rica last month, but I am dedicating this blog entry to beetles.  The most beautiful, by far, was this perfectly shiny gold one:

I'm holding this specimen because it was, sadly, dead.  You can see a crack on its head....maybe something tried to eat it.  I put it on the ground to photograph in a more lifelike pose:
The next day, we were lucky enough to find another of these guys, alive!  It was dark outside and very difficult to photograph, so there aren't any more pictures, but this thing was really awesome to see walking around.  It looks like some kind of Rutelid to me, but can anyone narrow it down any further?  We saw it in the Cloud Forest, near Monte Verde National Park.

Another cool beetle....again, possibly a Rutelid....was this guy, also in the Cloud Forest:
Near that guy, I spotted this surprisingly blue Tiger Beetle!  I was lucky to get a photo; he was quick!
At night, we saw this guy, possibly another Rutelid:

My husband was lucky enough to make a friend!  This guy reminded me of a big June beetle, but it is perhaps yet another Rutelid of some kind?

Besides that super-cool gold Rutelid, my other favorite beetle was this guy:
We made his acquaintance at a butterfly zoo.  The curator had seen it out on a walk, and recognized it as an endangered species.  He took it to the zoo and placed it in captivity for a short time for observation.  He took it out of the cage for us, and I put my hand next to it so you can see how HUGE he really was!  I could hardly believe this thing was real!  You see them on TV or read about how big they get or even see them dead in collections, but to see the actual living specimen was very special indeed.

During a night hike in the Cloud Forest, I came across another Tiger Beetle; this time, a royal purple one with an iridescent finish and tiny hairs covered in dew.  Beautiful!

I hope you enjoyed seeing these photos half as much as I enjoyed seeing them in person!  If anyone can offer any kind of identification advice, I would love to know what I saw!


Samantha G said...

Ohhh I love this post! It made me smile so much. The beetles are lovely! Thank you for sharing :)

Violaine said...

Thank you so much to share this beauty with us :)
I will certainly look otherwise when going for a walk in the woods, here in Canada or elsewhere in my travels.